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HI8TORY 



OF 



THE WELSH BAPTISTS, 



'SOU THE TBAR SIXTY-THREE TO THE YEAR ONE TH0U8Alf» 
fSVEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY. 



In 



BT jr. BATI8. 



PITTSBURGH: 

rUBUSHED BY D. M. HOGAN, No. 78, WOOD STREET. 
BPBRAIU IXOYD, PRINTER. 



1835. 

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Entered, according to act of Congress, in the year Or 
thousand eight hundred and thirty-five, by J. Davis, in tl 
clerk's office of the District Court of the United States for tl 
Western District of Pennsylvania. 



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JUN 24 \m 



PREFACE. 



As NOTHiiro makes stronger impressions upon the mind than example, a view 
of the lives and principles of eminent persons, and the consideration of the riso 
wad progress of the Christian Religion, might be the most powerful means, 
under the blessing of Grod, to lead others to follow the footsteps of those who 
have denied themselves, taken up the cross, and followed their Lord through 
evil and good report. Every one, therefore, who has any concern for the glory 
of Ciod, and the welfare of his fellow creatures, will, most cordially, encourage 
eveiy efib% in order to obtain these glorious ends. How far this book will 
answer that purpose, is not for us to say ; it must be submitted to the judgment 
of the reader. 

Though the most part is a translation (abridged,) of Thomas's Histpiy of 
the Baptists in Wales, yet we have collected all that we deemed idteresting 
from eveiy other author that we could find on the subject. 

It might not be improper to mention the names of some of the authors, from 
which many of these documents have been taken, and also to make a few, 
remarks relative to the character of the men, and the time in which they lived, 
as &r as we have been informed by authors of later date. 

Gildas Fritwn, is the oldest Welsh Historian we could find; because almost 
all the books that were Written before Dioclesian*s time, were consumed in 
that fire, that he ordered to be kindled, (in his wrath and indignation) against 
the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus. Gildas wrote some of his books 
in Latin and some in Welsh, in and about the year 548. He was a good man, 
and ja Minister of the Gospel. More of him hereafter.'^ 

Twrog was one of the first ecclesiastical Welsh Historians; for Gildas 
wrote chiefly on the troubles of the times, and the duty of religious people, and 
the degeneracy of the age. Twrog wrote about the year 600. We have not 
seen his writings; but Dr. Thomas Williams says he has seen it in the parish 
church of Geljmnog, Carnarvonshire, in 1594, covered with black stone.t 

TyBsilio also wrote his history in Welsh, about the same time. His works 
are often quoted by other Historians. 

JefTre ap Arthur, Bishop of Llanelwy, and Caradog of Lancarvan, are 
considered the best national historians; both of them wrote in Welsh, 1132. 
The works of the former were translated into Latm by himself; and the other 

* De Exklio Britannie; and Haoes y il^dd, 4tfa ed. p. 184.; also Thomas's 
Prefoce, p. 19. 
t Drych y prif oesotdd, p. 217, and Arch. Brit. p. 225. 

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lY PBBFACB. 

into English, by Humphrey Lloyd, Esq^ and was repiii^ by W«J^yniie, A- 
M. in the year 1702. ^- 

NinniuB of Bangor, wrote the History of Wales, about the year 800. Walter 
Calenius, Archdeacon of Oxford, about the year 1120, brought from Brittany, 
in France, die History of die Wddi Kings, written in Welsh, which was 
transkited into Latin by him. 

Sir John Price was one of the most excellent historians that Wales ever 
produced; he wrote his Fides Historic Britannic, and his Historic Britannie 
Defensio, about the year 1553. 

Humphrey Lloyd, Esq., wrote the following, the manuscript of which is now 
at Chdbrd College, m Latin : Chronicon Wallie a Rage Cadwaladero usque ad 
Anno Domini 1294. He wrote three other small books : two of them have 
been printed. He died in the year 1570. 

Dr. David Powel, Vicar of Rhywabon, collected from various authora, ibm 
History of Wales, which was publii^ed in 1584. 

Theophilus Evans, Vicar of Llangamarch Brecon. His Drych y prif oesoedd, 
(or Looking-Glass of the Ancient Ages) was published in 1716. 

Simon Thomas, a Presbyterian Minister, printed his History of the World 
and the Times, (Hanes y byd a*r amseroedd) 1724. 

Thomas Williams, a Presbyterian Minister, published his (Oes lyfr) Ago 
Book in 1724.* 

Much information has also been obtained from manuscripts, such as the Red 
Book of Hergest; the Black Book of Carmarthen; old histories; the works 
of Hugh Pennant ; Cwtta cyfarwydd, and the Ancient Bards of the Principality 
of Wales; from various English authors, as well as Americans, particularly 
If organ Edwards and David Benedict. 

* Noorthouck's Historical Dictionary. A>tliene Oxoni^iset. 



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VART X. 

Containing the History of the Welsh Baptists, from the year 
dxty4hree to the Reformation. 

l^s Welsh, properly called Cutnry, the inhabitants of the 
Principality of Wales, are generally believed to be the descend* 
ants of Gomer, the eldest son of Japheth, who was the eldest 
son of Noah.'"' The general opinion is, that they landed cm 
the Isle of Britain from France, about three hundred yean 
after the flood.f 

About eleven hundred years before the Christian era, Brutu^ 
and his men emigrated from Troy in Asia, and were cordially 
received by the Welsh. They soon became one people and 
spake the same language, which was the Gomeraeg, or Welsh; 
hence the Welsh people are sometimes called the Ancient 
Britons.^ 

About four hundred years before Christ, other emigrants 
came from Spain, and were permitted by Gwrgan, the Welsh 
king, to settle in Ireland, among the Ancient Britons, who were 
in that country already. They, also, soon became one people, 
but have not retained either the Webh or the Spanish language; 
for the Irish language, to this day, is a mixture of both.|| 

By what means the Christian religion was first introduced 
into Britain, is a matter which has often engaged the pens of 
historians, but whose records do not always agree. The tra- 
dition that Joseph of Arimathea was the first who preached the 
gospel in Britain, at a place called Glastenbury, the wicker 
chapel built for him by the Ancient Britons, and his walking- 
stick growing to a plumtree, might be worthy of the attention 

* See Drych y prif oesoedd, p, 7. Dr. Gill on Gen. 10:2. Thomas's His- 
toiy of the Daptists in Wales, p. 2. Arch. Britannica, 35 and 267. Dr. Lle- 
wellyn's History and Critical Keniarks, p. 10. Dr. Heylin's Ck>smography. 
lib. 1, p. 21& Mr. Walter's Dissertation, p. 15. See also Bedford's Soripuiral 
Chronology,!). 194, 

t See O^s fyfr, page 23. Holmes's History of Endand, page 16. Thomas's 
Pre&ce to the History of the Baptists in Wid^p. 7, in the welsh language. 
Dr. Gill on Gen. 10r2. Bedford's Scripture Chronology, p. 194. Diych y 
DTif oesoedd n 7 

X See Breviary of Britain, yoL 8, by Humphrey Lloyd, Esq. John Piioe'S 
Histoiy of Walesiia 1. Wynne's Pre&ce to the Histoiy of Walc& 

II Pre&ce to Aieh. Britannica. 

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HKTOST OF 

of those who can believe any thmg. However, we are 
willing for those who believe that the good man who buried 
our blessed Redeemer also proclaimed salvation in his name 
to our forefathers, to enjoy their own opinion. That the 
apostle Paul also preached the gospel to the ancient Britons, 
is very probable from the testimony of Theodoret and Je- 
rome; but that he was the first that introduced the gospel to 
this island cannot be admitted ; for he was a prisoner in Rome 
at the time the good news of salvation through the blood of 
Christ reached this region. That the Apostle Paul had great 
encouragement to visit this country afterwards, will not be de- 
nied. When we consider the particular inducement he might 
have from Pomponia, Grecina, and Claudia Ruffina, the saints 
in Cesar's household; the former the wife of Aulus Plautius, 
the first Roman governor in Britain, and the latter a Briton 
born, the daughter of Caractacus the Welsh king, whose hus- 
band was Pudence, a believer in Christ.* 

In this capital, persons of different ranks, emplojrments, and 
offices, might be found: ambassadors, captive princes, mer- 
chants, and mechanics. Many of those would be prompted 
by curiosity to make inquiries concerning Paul, a noted prison- 
er at Rome, famed, even before his arrival, as an abetter of a 
new religion, thq principal teacher and propagator of the doc- 
trine of Jesus Christ, who was condemned by Pilate to the 
death of the cross. As. the apostle was permitted to live in his 
own hired house, guarded by a soldier, he was at liberty to 
receive all who applied to him for information and instruction ; 
and hereby the gracious purpose of Divine Providence in spread- 
ing Christianity through the world was promoted. How pleas- 
. iog it is to carry our views back into those remote ages, and 
imagine we geerthe'first missionaries and their disciples, assem- 
bled under the shade of the wide-spreading oak, instructing the 
people in the knowledge of the true God and of Jesus Christ the 
Savior of mankind; disputing with the Druids, confuting their 
absurd notions, their gross conceptions, their confused and 
complex mythology. 

About fifty years before the birth of our Savior, the Romans 
invaded the British Isle, in the reign of the Welsh king, Cassi- 
bellan; but having failed, in consequence of other and more 
important wars, to conquer the Welsh nation, made peace with 
them, and dwelt among them many years. During that period 
many of the Welsh soldiers joined the Roman army, and many 
families from Wales visited Rome; among whom there was a 

* So sairs the learned Archbishop Usher. See also Magnd Britauoicft. 

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THB WELSH BAPTISTS. 7 

oertain woman of the name of Claudia, who was married to a 
man named Pudence. At the same time, Paul was sent a 
prisoner to Rome, and preached there in his own hired house, 
for the space of two years, about the year of our Lord 63.* 
Pudence and Claudia his wife, who belonged to Cesar's house- 
hold, under the blessing of God on Paul's preaching, were 
brought to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, and 
made a profession of the Christian religion.f These^ together 
with other Welshmen, among the Roman soldiers, who had 
tasted that the Lord was gracious, exerted themselves on the 
behalf of their countrymen in Wales, who were at that timo 
vile idolaters. 

Whether any of the apostles eter preached in Brijain cstnnot 
be proved, and though it is generally believed that Joseph of 
Arimathea was the first that preached the gospel in that part of 
the world, we mUst confess that we are not positive on that sub- 
ject. The fact, we believe, is this : the Welsh lady, Claudia, 
and others, who were converted under Paul's ministry in Rome, 
carried the precious seed with them, and scattered it on the 
hills and vallies of Wales; and since that time, many thou- 
sands have reaped a most glorious harvest. They told their 
countrymen around, what a dear Savior they had found ; they 
pointed to his redeeming blood, as the ©nly way whereby they 
might come to God. 

The Welsh can truly say: if by the transgression of a 
woman sin came into the world, it was through the instrumen- 
tality of a woman, even painted Claudia, that the glorious ne\vs 
of the gospel reached their ears, and they felt it to be mighty 
through God, to pull down the strong holds of darkness. 

How rapidly did the mighty gospel of Christ fly abroad ! 
The very year 63, when Paul, a prisoner, was preaching to a 
few individuals, in his own hired house in Rome, the seed 
sowed there is growing in the Isle of Britain. We have no- 
thing of importance to communicate respecting the Welsh Bap- 
tists, from this period to the year 180, when two ministers by 
the names of Faganus and Damicanus, who were born in' 
Wales, but were born again in Rome, and there becoming 
eminent ministers of the gospel, were sent from Rome to assist 
their brethren in Wales.J 

* See Acts of the Aposdes, 28:30. 

t 2 Tim. 4:31, Fox's Acts and Monuments, p. 137. See also Dr. Gill and 
Matthew Henry, on 2 Tim. 4:21. Godwin's Catalogue. Crosby's History of 
the English Baptists, preface to vol. 2. Drych y prifoesoedd, p. 179. 

t See Dr. Heylfai's Cosmography, lib. 1, p. 257. Drych y prif oesoedd, p. 
190. 

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8 BISTORT OF 

In the same year, Lucius, the Welsh king, and the first kiag 
in the world who embraced the Christian religion, was bap- 
tized,* 

Faganus and Damicanus were two faithful witnesses, bearing 
testimony to the truth, and were remarkably successful in Man- 
ning souls to Christ. Through their instrumentality, the light 
of the gospel burst forth from the Isle of Anglesea to the Isle of 
Thanet, like the sun in the morning after the dark night of 
Druidism; the glorious light of the gospel dispelled the shades 
of ignorance and error, in which the seed of Gomer had been 
enveloped from generation to generation. Fired with a sacred 
zeal for the cause of Christ, and the welfare of immortal souls, 
our Welsh apostles followed the superstitions and cruelties of 
paganism to their most secret chambers, and exposed them in 
their native deformity. 

It is true they had not to stretch on the rack, neither had they 
to endure the flames; yet ihey had to encounter with pagan 
ignorance, and muclu opposition from Beelzebub the prince of 
darkness. Though the gospel had been preached in the island 
since the year 63; yet, as God had not departed from his ge- 
neral way of disseminating his truth among the children of 
men, by beginning with small things in order to obtain great 
things, hitherto it had been the day of small things with our 
forefathers, the inhabitants of the ends of the earth. But now 
Zion's tent was enlarged, and the curtain of her habitation 
stretched forth ; she broke forth on the right hand and on the 
left; kings became nursing fathers and queens nursing mo- 
thers. Behold King Lucius, not only embracing the religion 
of Christ himself, but finding the means of propagating the gos- 
pel very inadequate, sending a most earnest request to Eleuthe- 
rus, for additional help. Here the Macedonian cry vibrated 
from the Welsh throne at Carludd, as well as from the Welsh 
cabin at the foot of Caderidris or Plimlimon. 

About the year 300, the Welsh Baptists suffered most terri- 
ble and bloody persecution, which was the tenth pagan perse- 
cution under the reign of Dioclesian. Alban had the pain, and 
honor, to be the first martyr on the British shore. Next to 
him, were Aaron and Julius^ renowned men, who lived at Car- 
leon. South Wales. The number of persons, meeting-houses, 
and books, that were burnt at that time, is too horrid to relate ; 
but, however, they were not all consumed by the flames. Re- 
ligion, yes, pure religion, the religion of Christ and his apostles, 



* See Acta and Monuments^. 96. Bede, Hist £ccle«. lib. 1, c. 4. Sef 
also Salutans luie Evangelii a Fabricio, p. 406. 

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THE WELSH BAFTISTS. 9 

> 

was yet alive. Here, as well as in many other place*, the 
blood of the martyrs proved to be the seed of the church.* 

Alban was highly esteemed, as a pious and active man, of * 
strong constitution and brilliant imagination. His patience, 
humility, prudence, and piety, acquired for him the esteem of 
some and the hatred of many. He had to suffer buffetings, 
stripes, reproaches, and death, for following the meek and lowly 
Jesus; but the grace of God was sufficient for him, so that he 
could rejoice in tribulation. He deemed it the greatest honor 
that could be conferred upon him, to suffer for the cause of 
Christ, who, though equal with the Father, yet made himself 
of no reputation, but took upon himself the form of a servant, 
despised the shame, for the joy that was set before him, became 
obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. He drank 
deep of the Spirit of Christ, enjoyed much of the presence of 
Christ, and was most wonderfully supported by him in his last 
hour, when he laid down his life to evidence his love to him 
who remembered sinners when they were in their low estate, 
and gave his life a ransom for -many. 

Aaron was a man of sound judgment, correct principles, and 
humble demeanor. He was a father to the youth, a friend to 
the distressed, and a sympathizing guide to those who were 
travelling the way to Zion. But notwithstanding all this, few 
men suffered more persecutions than he did, or were more 
roughly treated than he was by the sons of Belial, at different 
times and places, until he had the honor to suffer death in his 
Master's cause, at Carleon, Monmouthshire, South Wales. Ha 
bore all with Christian patience, meekness, and resignation; 
knowing that the sting of death was taken away, he yielded 
himself to the king of terrors as one ready to be offered up,, 
when he enjoyed much consolation, and had mQst glorious 
manifestations of the love of God to his soul. 

Julius was a painful laborer for the salvation of sinners, a ■ 
great comforter of the people of God, and a most wonderful 
peacemaker between the different churches, or diffetent'individu- 
al members. He was much beloved and respected by his 
friends, but by his enemies he was treated with unrelenting 
severity, and constantly followed with persecutions and dis- 
tresses, till he suffered martyrdom along with his brother Aaron, 
^t Carleon. 

Dioclesian's strict orders were, to bum up every Christian, 
every meeting-house, and every scrap of written paper, belong- 
ing to the Christians, or that gave any account of their rise and 
progress; and, no doubt, many valuable documents were burnt 
* See Acts and MoDumtnti. Pr]rcb^ypnfoMOwid» 1^196. 

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10 HISTORY OF 

that would have been very interesting to the present generation ; 
and it is a wonder that any of them were preserved from the 
flames. Christianity has not existed long in the world with- 
out some severe struggles. It has made its way by the irre- 
sistible force of its evidence. None of the Princes, nor any 
of the great men of the' earth smiled upon the religion of 
Christ, until it won the day by the excellency of its doctrine, 
the purity of its morals, and the rationality of its arguments. 
It triumphed on the ruins of Judaism in Palestine, Idolatry in 
Rome, and Druidism in the Principality of Wales. 

Never, since the birth of Christ, was there such a moral 
phenomenon exhibited on earth, as there was in Britain at this 
time. The opposition with which the gospel was met, and the 
succes;^ which attended its career, were of a most extraordinary 
character, when Druidism and Pagan superstition were sway- 
ing a magic sceptre from Carludd to Carguby. Yes, at this 
very period, light shined in darkness, our Welsh Baptists 
marched forward from conquest to conquest, notwithstanding 
the host of opposition which they had to encounter: their 
cause was the cause of truth, and truth will ultimately triumph. 
God, in a very remarkable manner, honored the Welsh nation. 
From among them he raised up a most wonderful defender of 
the faith, to the great joy and comfort, not only of the Welsh 
Baptists, but of all Christian professors in every part of the 
world, and of every age to the present time. The Roman 
Emperor, Constantino the Great, embraced the Christian reli- 
gion, and was baptized on the profession of his faith. He 
abolished all the persecuting edicts of his predecessors; so that 
the whole system of paganism gradually dissolved. Const€Ui- 
tine the Great was born in the Isle of Britain; his father was a 
Roman; his mother was a Welsh lady, of the name of Ellen, 
the daughter of Coelgodebog, Ekirl of Gloucester. Having re- 
sided in Britain for some time, they removed with their son 
Constantino to Rome; and there he was born again. 

As Lucius, the Welsh king, was the first king in the world 
who made a profession of the religion of Christ; so the first 
Christian Emperor in the world was a Welshman, who em- 
ployed all the resources of his genius, together with all the en- 
gaging charms of his munificence and liberality, to efface the"* 
superstitions of paganism, and to further the propagation of the 
gospel of the glorious Redeemer of mankind, both at home and 
abroad* 

♦ See Drych y prif oesoedd, pp. 64 and 203. Thomases Histonr of the 
Baptists in Wales, printed in the Welsh language. Williams's Dee lyfr. 
Acts and Monuments, p. 104. See also DaDven on Baptisno, pp, 60, 61. 



THB WXL8H BAPTISTS. H 

Historians inform us that his mother Elen, (for that was her 
name in Wales — ^the Romans called her Helina,) was a very 
pious woman, who filled the whole Roman empire with her 
benevolent acts in supporting religion.* 

However, some of our English historians have very judi- 
ciously said, that when princes engage in religion, they either 
do too much for it, or too much against it. Indeed, it was a 
very desirable thing at that time, to be liberated from the rage 
of a persecuting power; at the same time we must acknowled^, 
that it is an awful thing to be elated at the external prosperity 
of religion, while little of the spirit of godliness is to be seen. 
To be exalted on the pinnacle of worldly grandeur, is more 
dangerous than to suffer affliction with the people of God. In 
many parts of the world, and particularly in Rome, this state 
of things opened the way for Antichrist, the Man of Sin, to 
creep into the churches. Bui that was not the case in the Isle 
of Britain. The Welsh people of that country would not sub- 
mit to the superstitions that were beginning to creep into the 
churches in other countries; but notwithstanding all this, the 
state of religion among the Welsh Baptists was not so flourish- 
ing at this time, as it had been in times past. The Welshmen^ 
for a considerable time, had a sort of a religious quarrel with 
one of their countrymen, of the name of Morgan, known abroad 
by the name of Pelagius. The civil war between them and the 
Scots ai^^ Picts, was by no means a friend to religion ; and the 
measures they took in calling in the Saxons to assist them, in 
the year 449, were very injudicious; for the Saxons never re- 
turned to their own country. Afler many bloody and desperate 
battles, for many years, the Saxons, by stratagems too horrid 
to mention, drove the Welsh to the mountains, and took pos- 
session of their land. Yes, all that land, now known by the 
name of England, and too well known all over the world, by the 
adjectives prefixed to the noun, bloody and tyrannical England. 
But notwithstanding the troubles of the times, there were several 
eminent and faithful ministers among the Welsh Baptists.f 

Here it may not be improper to mention the names of a few 
of the most eminent ministers belonging to the Welsh Baptists 
at this time. 

Gildasij: was a very noted man for zeal against the degeneracy 

• Milner's History, vol. 1, p. 318 ; and, also, vol. 2, p. 39. ^ „ . . 

t Up to this time, the Welsh were the inhabitants of the Isle of Britain, now 
called England ; but ever since, they have dwelt on a tract of land, on th« 
western part of the island, now called Cumry, or Wales. 

\ Known by the name of Gildas Britannicus. Thomas s History, Preface, 
a 19. One of his books, supposed to have been written in Welsh, is De K&U 
aio Britannie. 

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13 HI8T0B7 OF 

und lukewannness of the age. He wrote many books in Latin ; 
some of them have been translated into Welsh. Why he, be- 
ing a Welshman, should have written these good books in 
Latin, can be easily accounted for, when we consider the con- 
nection that had subsisted between the Welsh churches and the 
church of Christ of the same faith and order, as founded by the 
Apostle Paul in Rome; but not the present church of Rome, 
pretended to have been founded by St. Peter. 

It is, therefore, evident, that the grand design of Gildas in 
writing in Latin, was, to endeavor to rectify, to purge and pu- 
rify the Latin church from the corruptions that had lately crept 
into her, and continue therein to this day. He wAs a man 
whose heart was fully resigned to the will of God ; whose hope 
was founded on Christ as the only foundation laid in Zion ; 
strong in the faith, full of love to God and man, and zealous in 
the good cause in which he was engaged. 

Dyfrig W€is a man whose heart was engaged in the best 
cause, whose mental powers were great, and whose conversa- 
tion was free and affable. As a Christian, he was truly hum* 
ble, lovely, and pious; and as a minister, he was zealous, faith- 
ful, and experimental. His talents were far above mediocrity; 
his voice was clear, his countenance majestic, and his addresses 
manly and very engaging. Christ and his cross was all his 
theme, the foundation of his hope, the object of his faith, and 
the centre of his affections. His life corresponded jyiih the 
profession which he made of the religion of Christ; his conduct 
exemplified the rules he laid down for others. 

Dynawt was a well-informed, intelligent, and learned man, 
of very great natural abilities, of most excellent character, and 
very amiable temper. A very useful preacher of the gospel of 
Christ, he seemed to be very well acquainted with the art of 
touching the consciences of his hearers, as well as enlightening 
their understandings. He was a steady, zealous, and powerful 
advocate for the truth. He possessed the wisdom and sagacity 
of the serpent, as well as the harmlessness of the dove. He 
was a man of retentive memory, sound judgment, and undaunt- 
ed courage. He shone like a brilliant star in the church mili- 
tant, and we have reason to hope, that in the church triumphant 
he shines brighter than the sun in his full meridian, where 
there is neither sin nor sorrow, but joys unspeakable and full 
of glory. He was the President of the College of Bangor, and 
the chief speaker in the Conference and Association of Welsh 
ministers and messengers who met Augustine, with whom he 
had a debate on baptism. 



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THB WSL6H BA^frtSTS. 13 

Teilo was a man endowed with a large portion of gmoe «u3d 
exoellent gifts, whose understanditig was eMi^^itened, whose 
will was subdued, and whose auctions w^re set on heavenly 
things* Having seen the glory of Christ by fiiith, having tasted 
that the Lord was gracious, and having iblt the power of divine 
grace in his heart, he most earnestly ui^ed, and by the strcmg- 
est arguments, compelled his fellow sinners to be reconciled to 
Grod. He was remarkably pathetic, pungent, and forcible in 
his address^ to the heart; so that the most careless were ar- 
rested, and the most ins^fisible were made to fed, while he 
exhibited the unsearchable riches of Christ, the Redeemer of 
ruined and miserable sinners* He could so rightly divide the 
word of truth, as to give every one a due portion in good sea- 
s<m; so that the unconvinced might be convinced, the unoon- 
verted might be converted, and the mourners in Zion might be 
comforted and strengthened in the inner mioi* 

Padam was a faithful evangelical minister of Christ, who 
exhibited, at all times, a dignity of temper and conduct, becom- 
ing the nature and the requirements of the character which he 
sustained. The powers of his mind were strong and capacious; 
his taste was elegant, if not re^ed; his addresses to the throne 
of grace, in prayer, were affectionate and fervent; his sermcois 
were doctrinal, practical, and experimental. He walked hum- 
bly and faithfully with God; he lived under the influence of the 
lovB of Christ ; and endeavored to improve all his time to the 
best end and purpose. He was truly a messenger of4)eace, and 
by him the tidings of peace were communicated to hundreds 
and thousands of the children of Gk)mer. 

Pawlin was remarkable for his kindness and benevolence. 
By his 2eal in preaching the gospel he manifested his love to 
Grod and man. His manners were easy, blended with that po- 
liteness which is destitute of affectation. Ete was well versed 
in Scripture, and a workman that needed not to be ashamed. 
His preaching was solemn and instructive, and the rules which 
he laid down for others he practised himself. He was well in- 
structed m the doctrine of the cross, and was honored of his 
God as the instrument of bringing many to the knowledge of 
the truth. As a man, as a Christian, and as a preacher, he 
bore a very excellent character. 

Daniel was a man of peculiarly strcmg and lively feelings. 
His whole soul seemed to be engaged in whatever he did. 
He was radowed with delicacy of feeling, blended with a sense 
of proprietor; with ease blended with politeness of manners; 
and with pioos ze^ blended with wisdom and prudence. I^ 
ministry was well calculated to awaken the thoughtless, to heal 
2 



14 BUTORY or ' 

the wounded, t&d to dry the. tears of the weqping eyes; to 
conriiioe,8inBeei>:io edify auotsi vad to biuld up Zion in her 
most holy faatk; to bring sinners to repentance, to restore back- 
sliders,; and 40 settle the mindaof wavering souls. Religioo 
appears to have been the element in which he breathed; reli- 
gious duties his constant delight; and the dignity of his whole 
deportment was such, that it interested the feelings of all who 
knew faim« ^ 

Our Wdsh historiaiis inform us, that there were several 
other noted ministers among the Welsh Baptists, at that time;, 
such as Cadog, Dewi, and many more. In what respects they 
were noted, we have not been able to ascertain. Neither have^ 
we seen all the written documents relative to them, which' 
might have been interesting to the public, as some of them have 
never been printed in any language. 

Infant Baptism was in vogue long before this time in many 
parts of the world, but not in Britain. The ordinances of the 
gospel were then administered exclusively there, according U> 
the primitive mode. Baptism by immersion, administered U> 
those who professed repentance towards Grod and faith in our 
Lord Jesus Christ, the Welsh people considered the only bap- 
tism of the New Testament. That was their unanimous senti- 
ment as a nation, from the time the Christian religion wa» 
embraced by them in 6^, until a ccmsid^rable time after the 
year 600. As soon as any of them renounced paganism 
during that period, they embraced Christianity, not as corrupt- 
ed by the Romans, but as founded by Christ and his apostles. 
This we assert to be a fact that cannot be controverted; for the 
proof of which, we refer our readers to the dispute between 
Austin and the ministers in Wales, sometime after the year 
600. When Austin came from Rome to convert the Saxons 
from paganism to popery. Having succeeded in a great mea- 
sure in Ei^land, he tried his experiments upon the Welsh; but 
was disappointed. At this period the Welsh were not ignorant 
pagans hke the S^otis, but they were intelligent, well-informed 
Christians. It is true,' they had no national religion ; they had 
not connected church and state together; for they believed that 
the kingdom of Christ is not of this world. 

However, they agreed to meet with Austin, in an association 
held on the borders of Heiefbrdshire. Austin said he would 
pn>pose three things to the Welsh ministers and mess^gers of 
the different churches of the Principality* First, he proposed 
infant baptism. Ife was immediately answered by the Welsh» 
that they yfoiM keep this ordinanOQ, as well m other things^ as . 
they had rec^ved them from the apostolic age. On Ji^tring . 

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THE WEL8K BAPTISTS. 15 

this, Austin w^s exceedingly wroth, and penuacbd (he-fiitzons 
to murder one thousand and two hnndved of the Weteh minis- 
ters and ddegates, there present; and many more afterm^ar^s 
were put to death, because they would not submit to infalnt bap- 
tism. The leading men being dead, king Cadwalader and the 
majority of the Welsh people submitted to popery; at that time 
more out of fear than love. Those good peopte that did not 
submit, were almost buried in its smoke ; so that we know bat 
little of them from that time to the Reformation.* 

Since the above was written, we find that Theophiius Evans, in 
his Drych y prif oesoedd, or Looking-glass of the Ancient Ages, 
could see the remnant of the Welsh Baptists, through the dark- 
ness of popery, to the year 1000. And Peter Williams, a 
M^hodist preacher, who wrote an expoation on the Old and 
New Testaments in Welsh, has followed them through the 
thick ckmds till they were buried out of bis sight in the smoke, 
in the year of our Lord 1115. However, it is a fact that can- 
not be controverted, that from this time to the Reformation 
there were many individuals in Wales, like tbe seven thousand 
ieft in Israel, whose knees had never bowed to this Baal of 
Romcf Since we wrote the foregoing translation, we have 
seen Benedict's History of the Baptist denomination in America, 
and take the liberty of making the following quotation from his 
works: 

" About sixty years after the ascension of our Lord, Chris- 
tianity was planted in Britain, and a number of the royal blood, 
and many of inferior birth, were called to be saints. Ifere the 
gospel flourished much in early times, and here also its follow- 
<3rs endured many afflictions and calamities f^om pagan perse- 
cutions. The British Christians experi«iced various changes 
of prosperity and adversity, until about the year 600. A little 
previous to this period, Austin the monk, that famous Pedo- 
baptist persecutor, with about forty others, were sent here by 
Pope Gregory the Great, to convert the Saxon pA^^^s to popery, 
and to subject them to the dominion of Rome. The enterprise 
succeeded, and conversion (or rather perversion) work was per- 
formed on a large scale. King Ethelbert and his court, and 
a considerable part of his kingdom, were won over by the suc- 
cessful monk, who consecrated the river Swale, near York, in 
which be caused ten thousand of his converts to be baptized in 
one day. Having met with so much success in England, he 

* See Act* and Momiments. p. 149. Prefece to CroijbT, toL 2. Diych y 
prif oeaoedd, p. 249. Dr. Godwin's Catalogue, p. 43. Thomases History of 
die Baptists in Wales, first part. . , , . ,„ , , 

tTKomas'a History of the Baptists in Walea.pubhBhedm Welsh. 

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16 HI8T0KY OF 

jresolTed to try what he could do in Wales. There were many 
British Christians who fled hitlier in former times, to avoid the 
brutal ravages of the outrageous Saxons* The monk held a 
synod in their neighborhood, and sent to their pastors to request 
them to receive the pope's commandment; but they utterly re- 
fused to listen to either the monk or pope, or to adopt any of 
their maxims. Austin meeting with tins prompt refusal, en- 
deavored to compromise matters with these strenuous Welsh- 
men, and requested that they would consent to him in three 
things; odb of which ioa«, that they should give baptism to 
their children. But with none of his proposals would they 
comply. * Sins, therefore,' said this zealous apostle of popery 
and pedobaptism, ' ye wol not receive peace of your brethren, 
ye of other shJall have warre and wretche.' And accordingly 
he brought the Saxons upon them to shed their innocent blood, 
and many of them lost their lives for the name of Jesus. The 
Baptist historians in England, contend that the first British 
Christians were Baptists, and that they maintained Baptist 
principles until the coming of Austin. ' We have no mention,' 
says die author of the Memoirs, * of the christening or baptizing 
children in England, before the coming of Austin in 597 ; and 
to us it is evident, that he brought it not from heaven but from 
Rome.' But though the subjects of baptism began now to be 
altered, the mode of it continued in the national church a thou- 
sand years longer, baptism was administered by dipping. 
From the coming of Austin, the church in this island was 
divided into two parts, the old and the new. The old, or Bap- 
tist church, maintained the original principles. But the new 
church adopted Infant Baptism, and the rest of the multiplying 
superstiticMis of Rome."* 

Austin's requesting the Ancient British Christians, who op- 
posed his popish mission, to baptize their children, is a circum- 
stance which the English and Welsh Baptists consider of the 
greatest importance. They infer from it, that before Austin's 
time, ii^nt baptism was not practised in the Isle of Britain, and 
that though he converted multitudes to his Pedobaptist plan, 
yet many, e^)ecially in Wales and Cornwall, opposed it; and 
the Welsh Baptists contend, that Baptist principles were main- 
tained in the recesses of their mountainous Principality, all 
along through the dark reign of popery. 

" God had a regular chain of true and faithful witnesses in 
this country, in every age, IVom the first introduction of Chris- 
tianity to the present time, who never received nor acknowledged 

* Beoediot'fl History of the Baptiit Denominttion in America, p. 190. 

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THX WELSH BAPTISTS. 17 

the pope's supremacy : like the thousands and miUions of the 
inhabitants of the vale of P^dmont, residing on green and fruit« 
fill meadows, surrounded by high and lofty mountains, aepa* 
rated from other nations, as if ^ all-wise Creator had made 
them on purpose, as places of safety for his jewels that would 
not bow the knee to Baal."* 

No wonder, then, that Dr. Mosheim said that the true origin 
of that sect called Anabaptists, is hid in the depth of antiquity. 
Dr. Richard Davis, Bishop of Mcmmouth, said, *' there was a 
vast difference between the Christianity of the Ancient Britons, 
and that mock Christianity introduced by Austin into England, 
in 596; for the Ancient Britons kept their Christianity pure, 
without any mixture of human traditions, as they received it 
from the disciples of Christ, and firom the church of Rome 
when she was pure, adhering strictly to the rules of the word 
of God." 

President Edwards of America, said: " In every age of this 
dark time, (of popery,) there appeared particular persons in 
all parts of Christendom, who bore a testimony against the 
corruptions and tyranny of the church of Rome. .'There is no 
one age of Antichrist, even in the darkest times, but ecclesias- 
tical historians mention by name, who manifested an abhor- 
rence of the pope and his idolatrous worship, and pleaded for 
the ancient purity of doctrine and worship. God was pleased 
to maintain an uninterrupted succession of many witnesses 
through the whole time, in Britain, as wellas in Germany and 
France; private persons and ministers; some magistrates and 
persons of great distinction. And there were numbers, in 
every age, who were persecuted and put to death for this testi- 
mony."t 

The faith and discipline of the Scottish churches in Ireland, 
were the same with the British churches, and their friendship 
and communion reciprocal. The ordinances of the gospel in 
both islands, at this time, were administered in their primitive 
mode. The venerable Bede says, that the supremacy of Rome 
was unknown to the ancient Irish. The worship of saints and 
images was held in aUiorrenoe, and no ceremonies used which 
were not strictly warranted by Scripture. All descriptions of 
people were not only allowed but desired to consult the sacred 
writings as their only rule of conduct. 

In short, from what we have stated, and the evidence pro- 
chiced by the learned Archbishop Usher, quoted by the Rev. 

* See Dootrine of fl^Mim, bgr Beijamui Jonei^ P. A. BfoB. p. 149; and Sir 
fitmuel Morelaad. 
t Edwai^*t Hiftory orBMbioiNioB, pb 9(>Q. 

* Digitized by Google 



18 HISTOSY OF 

William Hamilton, ** we haye the strongest reason to conclude 
that these islands enjoyed the blessings of a pure enlightened 
piety, such as our Savior himself taught, unembarrassed by any 
of the idle tenets of the Romish church. 

" When we cast our eyes on King Henry the second, advan- 
cing towards this devoted nation, bearing the bloody sword of 
war in one hand, and the iniquitous bull of Pope Adrian in the 
other, we have one of the strongest arguments to prove that this 
was not originally an island of pq)ish saints, and that the juris- 
diction of Rome unquestionably was not established here."* 

Respecting the Culdduon, singular Culdu,t or Culddu, the 
plural of wluch our English friends made to end in «— thus, 
Culdees — ^Bede says " preached only such work of piety and 
charity as they could learn from the prophetical, evangelical, 
and apostolicAl writings. They firmly opposed the errors and 
superstitions of the church of Rome. When the Romish monks 
poured into the kingdom, they supplanted the Culdduon, or 
Culdees, and by degrees got possession of their colleges. 

"The Culdees existed no longer in colleges, but they continued 
to teach true Christianity apart ; so that the reign of error in 
these parts was very short, and the darkness of the night was 
intermixed with the light of many stars." 

The above is taken from the Parish church, in the Religious 
Magazine published in Philadelphia, in 1829. Note how re- 
markably well this agrees with the Welsh History of the Bap- 
tists, in the fact that the darkness of the night of popery was in- 
termixed with many brilliant stars of Baptist ministers and 
Baptist members, who maintained Baptist sentiments as they 
received them of the apostles in the year 63, to the present 
time. 

It is well known to all who are acquainted with the history 
of Great Britain, that Carleon, in South Walea, was a renowned 
city in past ages, and a notable place for religion. In the tenth 
persecution under Dioclesian, the pagan Roman Emperor, many 
of the seed of Gomer suffered much. No less than three of 
those martyrs were citizens of Carleon: Julius, Aaron, and 
Amphibal, Baptist ministers. Many of the Welsh writings, 
which were more valuable than the precious gold, were de- 
stroyed at that time, which waa about the year 265. And it 



* Bede, Vita a Columbi. Bede, Hist. Gent An^l. lib. 3, c. 27. Brit de 
Hiberni. p. 703. Vide a curious treatise of Archbianop Uedier on the religion 
of the Ancient Irish. Vide Harding's Chron. c. 241. Also Hamilton's Lst- 
ter, p. 38 and 43. Ais«l BishAp Llojri*8 Historical Account 

t Culdu is a compound Welsh word. Cul, thin; du, black. Gwr oul du, 
a thin black man; a thin, gnfe, itorteiaoking t 



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THE WELSH BAPTISTS. 19 

18 remarkable, that where persecution raged the most, there the 
church of Christ increased the mos^ and continued the longest. 
There is no seed so productive as that which grows in the field 
enriched by the Wood of the martyrs. It appears that it can- 
not be rooted up by all the stratagems of paganism, infiddity, 
and popery; and by all the superstitions and cruel persecutions 
of nominal Christians. The vale of Carleon is situated be- 
tween England and the mountainous part of Wales, just at the 
foot of the mountains. It is our valley of Piedmont; the moun- 
tains of Merthyn Tydfyl, our Alps; and the crevices of the 
rocks, the hiding-places of the lambs of the sheep of Christ, 
where the ordinances of the gospel, to this day, have been ad- 
ministered in their primitive mode, without being adulterated 
by the corrupt church of Rome. It was no wonder that Penry, 
Wroth, and Erbury, commonly called the first reformers of the 
Baptist denomination in Wales, should have so many folloW' 
ers at once, when we consider that the field of their labors was 
the vale of Carleon and its vicinity. Had they like many of 
their countrymen, never bowed the knee to the great Baal of 
Rome, nor any of the horns of the beast in Britain, it is prqba- 
ble we should not have heard of their names; but as they were 
great and learned men, belonging to that religion, (or rather ir- 
religion,) established by law, and particularly as they lefl that 
establishment and joined the poor Baptists, their names are 
handed down to posterity, not only by their friends but also by 
their foes, because more notice was taken of them than those 
scattered Baptists on the mountains of the Principality. As 
this denomination had always existed in the country, from the 
year 63, and had been so oflen and so severely persecuted, it 
was by this time an old thing. But the men who lefl the 
popish establishment were the chief objects of their rage ; par- 
ticularly as they boldly and publicly headed that sect that is 
every where spoken against, and planted and re-organized Bap- 
tist churches throughout the country, like the men who were 
charged with turning the world upside down. The vale o[ 
Olchon, also, is situated between mountains almost inaccessi- 
ble. How noany hundred years it had been inhabited by Bap- 
tists before William Erbury ever visited the place, we cannot 
tell. We have no account of him, or any other person, bap- 
tizing any there before the time we know that there was a Bap- 
tist church there; that is, in 1663. It is a fact that cannot be 
controverted, that tfiere were Bdptists here at the commence- 
ment of the Reformatibn; and no man upon earth can tell 
when the church was formed, apd who began to bw)tize in this 
litUe Piedmont. Wheiice comd these Baptists] It is univer* 

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v|r;? 



fiO HI8T0ST OF 

sally believed that it is the oldest church, but how old mmeoan 
tell. We know that, at the Refonnation, in the reign of Charies 
the First, they had a minister named How^l Vaughan, quite a 
difierent sort of a Baptist from Erbury, Wroth, Vavasor Pow- 
ell, and others, who were the great reformers, but Imd not re* 
formed so far as they ought to have done, in the opinion of the v 
Olchon Baptists. And that was not to be wondered at; for 
they had dissented from the church of England, and prolMibly 
brought some of her corruptions with them, but the mountain 
Baptists were not dissenters from that establishment We 
know that the reformers were for mixed communion, but the 
Olchon Baptists received no such practices. In short, these 
were plain, strict, apostolical ^ptists* They would have or- 
der and no confusion — the word of God thdr only rule. The 
reformers, or the reformed Baptists who had been brought up in 
the established church, were for laying on of hands on the bap- 
tized, but these Baptists whom they found on the mountains of 
Wales were no advocates for it. As the Baptists of Piedmont 
were much disappointed in the reformation of Luther; so these 
on the mountains of the Principality were, in some d^ree, dis- 
appointed in the rdbrmation of their Baptist brethren in Wales; 
not compromise matters with Austin. Indeed, they were so 
for the Olchon Baptists were like those Baptists that would 
much like them, in many things too numerous to be mentioned, 
that they must have been a separate people, maintaining the 
order of the New Testament in every age and generation, from 
the year 63 to the present time.* 

Here it may not be improper to remark, that those ministers 
who were first put to death by the English, through the instru- 
mentality of that sai^uinary saint, known by the name of 
Austin, were men of learning as well as piety, brought up 
either in the college of Bangor in the north, or the college of 
Carleon in the south. These colleges were somewhat similar 
to the confraternities of our Moravian Baptists, in former times, 
or the mission house at Serampore, at the present time.f 

* Thomas's History. Notwtthstiiiiding the Baptists in Wales were very 
oumerous in 1653, yet there were but six or seven churches of the oM Baptist 
order. However, the difierenoe between them and V. Powell and other re< 
formers, was not a bar of communion, At the same time, it is evident, that 
thev had a more intimate fellowship with one another, Six of them joined ta» 
gether in an association: namely--Olchon,*Llanwenarth, Lhuitrisaint, Swaa^ 
sea, and Carmarthen^the other was the church of Dolan. AH the other 
charches, and numerous religioua societies, gathered by the ihstrumentaKty of 
the raibrmed Baptists, soch as Peory, EAaiy, Wioth, V. PoweU, and otheni, 
had not as yet jomod this aasooiation, 

t Any one wno can understand the Wdtsh langaage, for farther information 
nay oonsuit TwrogV HiMoiy (d tba GiMtfah, wntt«n about the year MOi, * 

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THS WBIJK BAPTISTS. 21 



The Mowing are the .names of a few of the most neted 
Baptist ministers in Britain before the reformation: 

1. Faganus. 

2. Damicanus. 

3. Alban. 



8. Dynawt. 

9. Tailo. 

10. Padam. 

11. Pawlin. 

12. Daniel.* 

13. Dewi, or David. 



4. Aaron. 

5. Julius. 

6. Gildas. 

7. Dyfrig. 

The names of several others are mentioned in Welsh manu« 
scripts, as being noted; but in what respects we are not in- 
formed: except William Tyndal, who translated the Bible into 
the l^iglish language, and translated the five books of Moses 
into the Welsh language, in the year 1520; for which he was 
put to death in 1536. He was bom near the line between 
England and Wales, but lived most of his time m Gloucester* 
shire. Llewellyn T3mdal and Hezekiah Tyndal were mem« 
bers of the Baptist church, at Abergavemey, South Wales. 

And, ttlflo, Ty^ailio's Hiitoiy of the Ohtird), WTtHen idioat ^ «tni6 time, in i^ 
book with a Uack stone cover. See, also, Taleifin't Poema Abo, mnnl 



papers in Jesus* College, Oxford. 
* Ik, LJeweU^n'f historical A 



Account, p. 2. See, also, MartTTology. 



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22 mwTOisr of 



VART ZZ. 



Containing the History of the Welsh Baptists^ from the Re- 
formation to the year One thousand seven hundred and 
seventy. 

The following extracts are taken from Evans Martyn's Let- 
ter, published in the eighth number, sixth volunne, of the Pitts- 
burgh Christian Herald: 

" While the Lord was employing the immortal Wickliff to 
prepare his way in England, he remembered Wales in his ten- 
der mercy, and visited her with the day spring from on high. 
The pioneer in the cause of the reformation in Wales was 
Walter Brute, who was a native of the Principality, and who 
had been at Oxford, where he became acquainted with Wickliff, 
with whom he formed an inthnacy, and fully entered into his 
views respecting the reformation of the church. It is an old 
adage, that like begets like, which was verified in the case of 
Brute. Having refleeted on the pitiable condition of his coun- 
trymen, who were bewildered in the haze of ignorance, his 
heart was iqioved with compassion. He left the university, en- 
dowed with the principles, fortified with the intrepidity, and 
fired with the zeal of his colleague; and fiilly determined to 
resist the delusions and abominations of the secular church 
€ven unto blood, he entered his native land, where he soon dis- 
tinguished himself." " Fox says, that Walter Brute was * emi- 
nent in learning, gifts, knowledge, zeal, and grace.' " 

" He fearlessly sounded the trump of God throughout the 
land, until, in a few years, the huge temple of Antichrist began 
to crumble, and its gilded worshippers to tremble for their 
safety. As his weapons were those of truth and righteousness, 
and his cause the cause of God, his victory was certain, and 
he soon became instrumental in- rescuing the prey from the 
mighty, and in delivering many lawful captives. His disinte- 
restedness becoming generally known, and his labors of love 
appreciated, he found a number of steady friends among high 
and low. It may be supposed, that in traversing the country 

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THE WSL8S BAniBTS. 28 

to preech the truth) and to ^eek the IO01 sheep of the houe&<tf 
Aiaxn^ that the established churches were dosed against him; 
for we learn that he was preaching from house to house, and 
in the chief places of concomfse and elsewhere, and conducting 
the worship of God with the greatest simplicity. He raain« 
tained that baptism was not necessary to salvation; and that it 
was to be administered to adults subsequently to conversion* 
And he frequently took occassion to protest agamst the doctrines 
and discipline of the established church. His zeal for the truth 
and his exposures of the papacy, soon elicited the hostility (^ 
the clergy, and fixed upon him all the envy of the sons of the 
church. Such was the importance attached to him and the 
cause he promoted, and such a wonderful reformation he had 
been instrumental in producing, that all the attempts of ecdesi* 
astical judicatories, and of the ministers of the civil law, to ar- 
rest his progress, were vain and ineflfectuaU Finally, a petition 
was presented to Richard II., king of England, praying his 
majesty to interfere in behalf of the church, m the prosecution 
of the heresiarch, Walter Brute, whose words the land was not 
able to bear. The insolence, oppression, and exactions of the 
clei^, had become quite intolerable to the lords and squires, 
whose hereditary higb-mindedness would not suffer the sons of 
Levi to surpass them in authority or splendor. Many of the 
great congratulated Brute in putting a check to the clergy, from 
no other principles than those of personal interest and fenvy; 
aiid gladly availed themselves of tlie opportunity to chastise 
their powerful rivals. Besides, the reformation had so exten- 
sively prevailed among all ranks, that some of the great and 
nobles were pious reformers, and others were impelled to yield 
to the force of public opinion. 

In the year 1391, the king, wishing to show favor to the 
church, issued a letter to the nobility of the Principality, in 
which he imperiously enjoined them to assist Dr. John Trev- 
nant, Bishop of Hereford, in apprehending and punishing Wal- 
ter Brute and his adherents^ Notwithstanding the peremptory 
command of the king, and the unwearied vigilance of his ene- 
mies, he was permitted to proceed unmolested in the prosecu- 
tion of his work, till the year 1393, when he received a citation 
to appear before the Bishop of Hereford, to answer to certain 
charges of heresy. Fearless of consequences, the reformer 
made his appearance on the affixed day, and presented a writ- 
ten testimgnkl in defence of himself and of the truth for which 
he was an advocate. In that testimonial, he avowed his belief 
in the doctrine of the Trinity; in the sufficiency of the Scrip* 
tures, as the infallible rule of faith and practice; in the divinity 

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34 HinosT OF 

of Christ; in reocmeiKation throueh his fttonmg sacrifice; id 
the work pf the Holy Sfnrit, ^tc, &c. la this detoce^ he also 
took opportunity to prove that the pope was the Anticbrist spo- 
ken of in Scripture; and that the Roman church was ^byion 
the Great, whose fUl he described and proved in a lucid man- 
ner. For some reasons, unknown to the writer, the stem re* 
former was discharged before the trial had actually taken place, 
and nothing is known of him after that event We cannot 
imagine what induced the judges to dismiss him without any 
examination. They weie probably led to such a course, for 
fbar of violence from his followers, who were no less zealous 
fbr their moral deliverer, than against all the orders of the po- 
pish clergy. 

*< Shortly after our refbrmer had sounded the alarm against 
the strong hdds of the kingd(»n of darkness, and had.exhorted 
his countrymen to ' come out of Babylon that they might not 
partake of her plagues,' numbers broke (heir fetters asunder, 
and not a few among the clergy became witnesses for the truth* 
In the reign of Richard II., and some of the subsequent reigns, 
Davydd Ddu [David Black], of Hiraddug, on the borders of 
Cardiganshire, and John Kent, D. D., of Grismond, in Mon- 
mouthshire, distinguished themselves as steady reformers, and 
by their preaching and writing were the means of effecting a 
great amount of good." 

" Tlie reformers knew of the obstacles to an extensive revi- 
val of God's work, or to give an unshaken and permanent basis 
to the reformed rdigion, while the people were destitute of the 
Holy Scriptures. These considerations induced Davydd Ddu 
to undertake the translatk>n of the Bible, or at least some por- 
tions of it, into Welsh ; specimens of which are now extant. 
By the philanthropic and Christian industry of several friends 
of the reformation, portions of the Sacred Word were very ex- 
tensively circulated* Dr. Kent, who was withal a respectable 
bard, labored by the efforts of his pen, in prose and verse, to 
reclaim the clergy from their indolence and vices, which he 
manfully exposed* Both these divines were stigmatized as ma- 
gicians; and various are the traditions respecting their disputes 
with familiar spirits, and their sagacity in cheating the deviL 
It may be fairly conjectured that these (hrolleries were circulated 
by the clergy, to prejudice the minds of the people against the 
reformers. Yet all the efibrts of the clerical order to cool the 
zeal of these men, and to retard the progress of truth, were nu- 
gatory. Revivals took place in the cloisters, and several 
monks came forth from within their secluded walls, and let 
their light shine, in all it9 brilliancy, before m^. It was stated 

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THE ^ELSH BAPTISTS. 25 

to the writer, by a celebrated antiquarian, that such was the 
progress of the reformation, that in the monastery of Mai^m, 
in Glamorganshire, a large majority of monks had lefl it, and 
had rallied round the standard of the reformers. This was the 
only cloister of which I have any definite and substantiated ac- 
count, as a theatre of revival ; but it is extremely probable, that 
the same divine effects extended to other religious houses. Tho- 
mas Evan ab Rhys was a monk from this monastery, and from 
the extant traditions in regard to him, we can form an idea of 
his ardent temperament and indefatigable exertions. When 
this devoted man was traversing the hills and valleys of Wales, 
to call his countrymen to awake to righteousness, persecution 
had assumed a formidable aspect, and the fulminations of the 
pontiff* and his subalterns had spread terror, even in those warm 
bosoms where the principles of the reformed religion had been 
planted. Rhys was compelled to itinerate not only at the 
constant peril of detection and death, but under the frequent 
denial of the rites of hospitality, and often destitute of the 
means of subsistence." 

" Such were the struggles which some had to encounter, to 
prepare Wales for a brighter day, and for a more tranquil and 
blissful period, for which ages yet unborn shall reap the most 
substantial benefits, and ascribe undivided praises to God for 
the instruments he employed to accomplish his work." 

In the year 1686, John ab Henry, called by the English John 
Penry, an Episcopalian minister, who had a very liberal edu- 
cation, and who was a very acceptable preacher in both the 
colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, dissented from the church 
of England and became a Baptist minister. Immediately he 
commenced preaching to his countrymen throughout the Prin- 
cipality. He became the ringleader of those Baptists in Wales, 
who never had and never would, bow the knee to the great 
beast of Rome, nor any of his horns in England. He was 
noted for piety, ministerial gifts, and zeal for the welfare of his 
countrymen. He was a native of Brecknockshire, and the first 
who publicly preached the gospel among the Baptists in Wales, 
after the reformation; which implies that the gospel was, more 
or less, privately preached among the Baptists, on the Welsh 
mountains, during the whole reign of popery. He also wrote 
and published two books.'*' Mr. Anthony Wood, an Episcopa- 

* A Vi6w of some parts of each Public Wants and Disprders, as are in the 
service of God, within her Majesty's country of Wales; with an humble Peti- 
tion to the Hifi^ Court of Parliament, for their speedy Redress. The other 
was, An Exhortation unto the Governors and People of Wales, to labor ear-^ 
neatly to have the preaching of the Gospel planted among them. ooqIc 

3 o 



26 nisTORT OP 

lian minister, says that John Penry was the worst enemy the 
church of England had through the whcde r^gn of Queen 
Elizabeth. He calls him a most notorious Anabaptist, of which 
party he was, in his time, the Corypheus. As such, he had to 
die the death of a martyr, in the year 1593, in the 34th year 
of his age. He was remarkably active and useful while he 
lived, and died triumphantly shouting, victory, victory, victory, 
through the blood of the cross! O dcAth! where is thy sting? 
O grave! where is thy victory? 

El the year of our Lord 1620, Erbury and Wroth, ministers 
of the gospel of the church of England, established by law in 
Wales, dissented from that establishment. In what particular 
steeple-house Mr. Erbury officiated, what were the means of 
his conversion, and what were his reasons and motives for dis- 
senting, we have not been able to ascertain from any written 
•r printed document; but from what we have read of him, 
since he became a Baptist minister, we evidently see that he 
was a good man, and a very eminent minister of the gospel of 
Christ, who had his share of persecution as well as Mr. Wroth. 
Their history is so blended, and their attachment to one an- 
other, seemed to be so great, that we cannot well separate them. 
However, Mr. Thomas of Leominister, in his Welsh history of 
the Baptists in Wales, informs us, that he found the following 
account, in a written paper in Monmouthshire, relative to Mr. 
Wroth : A certain nobleman, in Mr. Wroth's parish, having 
occasion to go to London to )attend a law-suit, and having been 
successful, as soon as the news reached home that he had 
gained the victory, Mr. Wroth the vicar, being very fond of 
music, bought • a new violin, for the purpose of joining the no- 
bleman and his friends on their return, in feasting, music, and 
dancing. The time was appointed, great preparations were 
made^ and the vicar, with his new violin, ready to receive him, 
when the news came that he was dead ; so that their great 
rejoicings were turned to bitter lamentation and mourning. 
The vicar immediately fell upon his knees, and for the first 
time in his life he prayed : Yes, he prayed from his heart ; he 
most earnestly and fervently prayed, that the Lord would bless 
that solemn event to them all; that the widow, the fatherless 
children, himself, and all their friends, relatives, and connec- 
tions, might consider the frailty of life, the vanity of the world, 
the certainty of death, and the importance of eternal things. 

This circumstance was the means of his conversion to God. 
He then began to study the word of God, and preached with 
power and energy, as one having authority. Now he most 
earnestly endeavored to glorify God, to exalt the Savior of sin* 



THE WELSH . BAPTISTS. 27 

ners, and to save precious and immortal souls. This new way 
and new manner of preaching, made a most wonderful excite- 
ment in the country; so that many cried out, " what shall we 
do to be saved," and others persecuted them. But they travel- 
led and preached together, through the whole region, showing 
the nature and the requirements of the religion of Christ, in 
such a manner that the vicars and the great men were most 
dreadfully offended at them. But these two missionaries of the 
cross were not discouraged by the rage of carnal and wordly- 
minded men. The cause in which their hearts were engaged 
was the cause of God. Glory to God in the highest, peace on 
earth and good- will to men, was their motto. They considered 
the man who becomes instrumental in saving one soul from 
eternal ruin, as doing more good for his fellow creature, than 
if he were to give him all the riches of the universe. The 
most profound philosophers, the wisest statesmen, and the most 
refined metaphysicians, with all their resources of natural light 
and solid reason, leaves the mind in a bewildered state, desti- 
tute of the knowledge of the only way that sinful men can be 
restored to the favor of God, consistently with his veracity, the 
requirements of his violated law, and the demands of divine 
justice; but our Wdsh missionaries directed their countrymen 
to Calvary, to the sufferings and death of Christ, where divine 
justice shone with more splendor and glory, than if all man- 
kind were under the wrath and displeasure of God forever; 
where divine mercy appeared brighter, than if we had been 
saved without the execution of justice; and where it was mani- 
fested, that the rights of divine government are so sacred and 
inviolable, that they must be maintjuned though the spotless 
Lamb of God should fall a sacrifice for sin. It appears that 
this was the grand theme upon which they dwelt; the truth 
which God has blessed to the conversion of our forefathers 
on the Welsh mountains. But the more active they were in 
their Master's service, the more enraged was the Prince of 
Darkness, with his allied powers and confederates on earth. 
Both of them were soon taken up and sent to London, to be 
tried for their crime. In the year 1688, they received their 
sentence, and in the year 1635, they were turned out of their 
parishes.* But they cared not for these things. They preached 
the gospel from house to house, from valley to valley, and 
from mountain to mountain. By this time the Bible was 



♦ See Neale's Histoiy of the Puritans, vol! 2, pp. a52, 275. Bennet'a Me- 
morial of the Reformatioii, p. 75» Rapin, vol 1, p. 141, Athen. Ozon. vol 1, 
col 258, ^. 

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SS8 HISTORY OP 

printed in the Welsh language, and the peoplG began to search 
the Scriptures, and found that it was even so therein recorded* 
Some of Mr. Erbury's Letters to Mr. Morgan Lloyd, and one 
letter to the Baptist churches in South Wales, may be seen in 
Mr. Thomas Meredith's book printed in. the year 1770, in the 
Welsh language, and were it in our power to get at that book, 
we should have been glad to present it before our readers. The 
first Baptist church in Wales since the reformation, was con- 
stituted by Erbury, on the plan of strict communion, in 1663« 
The second was constituted on the principle of mixed commu* 
nion, in the year 1639, at Llanfaches, in Monmouthshire, by 
Mr. Wroth, assisted by Mr. Jesse* of London. Mr. Wroth be- 
came the pastor of the church at Llanfaches, and labored 
among them the remainder of his days. Mr. Erbury did not 
settle any where, but preached in many places. We have not 
seen atoy account of the death of these servants of God, but we 
are inclined to believe, that as they lived the life of the 
righteous, so, also, they died the death of the righteous. 

Vavasor Powell was bom in Radnorshire, South Wales. 
He was brought up a minister in the established church, and 
for some time officiated at Clun, on the borders of Shropshire. 
One day, as he was breaking the Sabbath, one of the people 
called Puritans, sharply reproved him; sd that he became con- 
cerned about his soul. Soon after he went to hear Mr. Cra- 
dock and others preach, and by the blessing of God on the 
preaching of the gospel, he was brought from the broad to the 
narrow road. He was inclined to suffer affliction with the peo- 
ple of Grod, rather than to proceed in the ways of sin and folly. 
Soon afterwards he was baptized on the profession of his faith, 
and became a very popul|ir preacher among the Baptists in 
Wales, in the year of our Lord 1636. He was one of the most 
zealous and useful preachers in the Principality. He often 
preached throughout Wales, and in many parts of England. 
IBeing a man of liberal education, he was remarkably fluent in 
both languages. He suffered much for the cause of Christ. In 
1642, he was obliged to leave his native country, and to escape 
for his life, for preaching the gospel ; but he returned in the 
year 1646, and preached boldly throughout the whole country; 
sometimes in the churches, sometimes in dwelling houses. Yes, 
he oflen preached salvation free in Jesus' name, in the public 
markets, in the woods, and on the top of the mountcuns, to very 
large and crowded congregations. In his time, the state of 

* Mr. Jesee was then an Independent, but became a Baptist minister, soon 
afterwards. ^ i 

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THE WEIiSH BAPTISTS. 29 

religion in Wales suffered much from the frowns and smiles of 
earthly courts. In 1641 the war commenced between King 
Charles and the parliament. In 1648 the king was conquered. 
In 1668 Cromwell died. In 1660 Kiug Charles the second 
returned to England, and a most horrid persecution commenced. 
When they had a king to reign over them, language is inade- 
quate to express the sufferings of our Welsh brethren ; and 
while they were without a king, they were too highly exalted 
in honor and dignity. 

After the return of Charles the second, many of the Baptists 
in Wales were imprisoned, without either judge or jury, or any 
sort of trial or r^ular commitment whatever. Hundreds of 
them were taken from their beds at night, without any regard 
to age, sex, or the inclemency of the weather; and were driven 
to prison on foot, fifteen or twenty miles, and if they did not 
keep up with their drivers on horseback, they were most cruelly' 
and unmercifully whipped. And while their drivers would 
stop to drink at taverns, the poor sufferers were pounded like 
cattle, during the pleasure of the king's friends; and their 
property was forfeited to the king, except what was deemed 
necessary to defray the expenses of their drivers. All this was 
only the beginning of sorrows. It was nothing in comparison 
to the sufierings they endured, for the space of six and twenty 
years afterwards; when King William landed in England, on 
the 5th day of December, 1688 — a day for the manifestation of 
the goodness of God in a very peculiar manner; for even a 
yoke is far better than a most dreadful heavy yoke, but liberty 
is ten thousand times better than either. 

Vavasor Powell had to endure his part in all these persecu- 
tions. He was immured in no less than thirteen prisons. In 
fact, he was in prison all the time from the I'estoration of 
Charles the second to the end of his life; which happened on 
the 27th day of September, 1670. His last illness continued 
about a month. He greatly rejoiced with joy unspeakable and 
almost full of glory, under the consideration that he was so 
near eternal glory. There were no less than twelve elegies 
published by his friends on his death. Some of the Episcopa- 
lian ministers wrote against him, and called their book " The 
Hue and Cry," which he most nobly answered. The title of 
his book is, " Examen et Purgamen Vavasoris." " He was a 
most successful preacher of the last generation; a faithful wit- 
ness to the present generation ; and a good pattern to the next 
generation."* He was the means of gathering and fcwming the 

* The above is en^ved on his tombstone. See Thomas's History. Also 
Vavasor Powell's Life. 

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30 HISTOBY OP 

church at Llanbrynmar, and several other congregations, con* 
sisting of five or six hundred communicants, who were not 
then regularly formed into churches. 

Howell Vaughan was the first pastor that we know of, in one 
of the first Baptist churches formed in Wales, called Olchon, 
on the borders of Herefordshire. Though the church was re- 
freshed through the instrumentality of Mr. Erbury, and often 
fed by the labors of Vavasor Powell, yet neither of them was 
properly the pastor of the church at Olchon. What time 
Howell Vaughan commenced preaching we know not, neither 
can we find out when and where he was ordained. But, how- 
ever, we find him the pastor of the church at the time of the 
reformation. He was not a learned man, like Erbury, Wroth, 
and Powell, as he never had a college education ; but he was a 
plain, conscientious, and godly man, remarkably well versed 
in Scripture. He was a very good preacher, well calculated to 
feed the church of God with knowledge and understanding. 
The church under his pastoral care, though small at first, in a 
short time increased most wonderfully. This part of Zion's 
tent, through the labors of H. Vaughan, was so enlarged, that 
in the year 1649, it reached as far as Hay and Clifford. Hay 
being a market town, and many of the members living there at 
this time, it was thought best for the church to meet there. 
And the first meeting-house since the reformation, belonging 
to the Baptists in Wales, was built there. However, after the 
branches were formed into separate churches, the mother 
church met at the old place. There is no meeting-house at 
Olchon to this day. Our old mother has brought forth and 
raised up many daughters, and has assisted them in building 
large and elegant houses, while she herself dwells in a cabin. 
And we are sorry to say, that she is too much neglected by 
her children. The place of her habitation was well chosen in 
the time of persecution ; being situated between two mountains, 
almost impassable, and altogether so for the silver slippers of 
this day. We have not seen any account of the death of H. 
Vaughan. We find him in the first Baptist association formed 
in Wales since the reformation, held at Abergaverny, Mon- 
mouthshire, on the 14th and 16th days of August, 1653. We 
have been informed, that he was well calculated to feed the 
church of God with knowledge and understanding. Zeal with * 
out knowledge is like an ignis-fatuus. He, therefore, taught 
the people to know themselves; to know something more of 
God; to know something more of Christ ; and something more 
of the glorious things exhibited in the gospel. For every one 
that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. It was his ear* 

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THE VTEUa BAn'ISTS. 31 

nest prayer, that their love might abound more and more, m 
knowledge and in all judgment; that they might put on the 
new man, which is renewed in knowledge ; that they might 
increase in the knowledge of him, whom to know is life etemaL 
He, therefore, endeavored to enlighten the understanding, not 
to amuse his hearers with lively conceptions of sliapes and co- 
lors, or of voices and sounds ; for there is nothing more delu- 
sive than mere impressions on the imagination, while the under- 
standing is not illuminated. He also taught them the difierenco 
between speculative knowledge, and that knowledge which is 
connected with the affections, in which there is something that 
not only sees but also feels. 

William Thomas began to preach at Llanfaches, Glamorgan- 
shire, in the year 1638, about twelve months before the church 
was formed there; which was the second church formed in 
Wales since the reformation. Mr. Wroth being old, William 
Thomas was ordained his co-pastor, and labored with accept- 
ance and success, until the year 1641, when by recison of per- 
secution in that part of the world, he fled to another, and ar- 
rived in Bristol, England ; where he preached and baptized a 
great many. He was a very learned man, brought up in Ox- 
ford college. He did not settle over any congregation in Eng* 
land, but kept school in Bristol, where many young ministers 
were educated. In Cromwell's time, he returned to Wales, 
and preached in St. Mary's church, near Swansea. He was 
turned out of that church on the restoration of Charles the se- 
cond. He kept school afterwards at Swansea, and oflen 
preached at Carmarthen, and other destitute places. Afler he 
was turned out of St. Mary's, he became a member of the Bap- 
tist church at Swansea. We have an account of his having 
been sent as a messenger from Swansea to three associations. 
Before his death he returned to Llantrisaint, near Llanfaches, 
from where he went to Bristol. At this time the Baptists met 
at Llantrisaint. In the association held at Abergavemy, this 
church proposed to revive the old plan of supporting ministers 
in weak and destitute churches; which was for the strongest to 
help the weakest. William Thomas was appointed home mis« 
sionary for six months, and received from Swansea, £5; Llan- 
trisaint, £2 lOs.; Carmarthen, £2 10s. 

William Thomas died, July 26, 1671, and was buried at 
Llantrisaint. 

Our Welsh brethren were great advocates for the ancient 
order of things. They adoptol the old plan of supporting mis- 
sionaries. The gospel, through the channel of missions, has 
made its way to many parts of the world; and through tho 

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22 HISTORY OF 

very same channel, will shortly go over the whole world. 
Our blessed Redeemer condescended to undertake a mission 
into this sinful world. God so loved the world, that he sent 
his (Mily begotten Son; and in every sense of the word, he was 
a missionary while he was upon earth. And the apostles who 
drank deep into the same Spirit, and having received their 
commission from Christ their head and leader, to go into all 
the world, became so many missionaries to proclaim salvation 
free in Jesus' name. These missionaries are dead, but the 
God of missions ever liveth, to raise up new missionaries, to 
assist and protect them, and to bless thdr labors. 

Is it absolutely necessary that sinners who live in darkness, 
without hope, and without God in the world, should hear the 
gospel? that they should repent and believe the gospel? that 
they should be partakers of that faith that purifieth the heart? 
that repentance that needeth not to be repented of? that Chris- 
tian watchfulness against sin? that vehement desire for a holy 
life? and that zeal which is according to knowledge? If it is, 
will not that love which is stronger than death, constrain them 
to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow the Lord 
through evil and good report? And how are they to be made 
partakers of these precious graces? Faith comes by hearing 
the gospel, and the gospel comes by the means of missionaries. 
But how can missionaries preach except they be sent? And 
who is going to send them empty-handed? The age of mira- 
cles is gone; and Grod has ordained that those who devote 
themselves entirely to the preaching of the gospel should live 
of the gospel. 

" Roger Williams was bom in Wales, in the year 1598. 
He was brought up a lawyer, under the patronage of Sir Ed- 
ward Coke; but finding that employment not agreeable to his 
taste, he turned his attention to divinity. His preaching was 
highly esteemed, and his private character very much revered ; 
but as he embraced the sentiments of the Puritans, he was so 
much exposed to suffering, that he was compelled to leave his 
native country. He embarked for America, on the 6th day of 
February^ 1631. He preached first at Salem, and afterwards 
at Plymouth, New England; but on account of his Baptist sen- 
timents, and the doctrine of liberty of conscience, of which he 
was a great advocate, he was banished from New England in 
the year 1636. He ventured among the savages, pitched his 
tent, near a spring* of water in the wilderness, and called the 
name of the place * Providence.' Being kindly received and 

* Now near the Episeopsl chmth in Providence. 

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THE WELSH BAPTISTS. 83 

highly esteemed hy the Indians, he aoaa learned their lan« 
guage, and bought of them that tract of land now known by 
Sie name of Rhode Island. He became the parent and found* 
er of that state, and was the first who planted the standard of 
liberty on the American shore. Many of his friends soon re- 
paired to the new settlement,- and by the assistance of Sir 
Henry Vane, he obtained from England, a free and absolute 
charter of civil incorporation, dated March 17, 1644. 

In the year 1639, he formed a Baptist church at Providence, 
Rhode Island, which is the first church of the Baptist deno- 
mination in America. The second was founded at Newport, 
by John Clark in 1644. The third, which is the second 
church in that town, was founded 1656. The church at Swan* 
sea began by our Welsh brother, John Miles, was the fourth 
Baptist church in the New World. 

Roger Williams, as a scholar, as a Christian, and as a minis- 
ter, was truly respectable. He was one of the most disinte- 
rested men that ever lived, and a most pious and heavenly- 
minded soul. It is said of him, that instead of showing any 
revengefiil temper, he was continually employed in acts of 
kindness and benevolence to his enemies. 

Roger Williams justly claims the honor of being the first le- 
gislator in the world, who fully and effectually provided for, 
and established a free, full, and absolute liberty of conscience;* 
for the true grounds of liberty were not fully understood in 
America, until he publicly avowed that Christ alone is king in 
his own kingdom. Liberty of conscience, as the most darling 
principle, was planted in the soil of Rhode Island by this emi- 
nent Welshman, long before the red men -left it, or even the 
lofVy forests were laid waste, and has been transmitted from 
father to son with the most studious care. It was interwovem 
in every part of the state constitution, has extended its influence 
to all transactions, both civil and sacred; and in no part of the 
world has it been more inviolably maintained. It is the glory 
and boast of Rhode Island, that no one within her bounds was 
ever legally molested on account of his religious opinions, and 
that none of her annab are stained with acts to regcdate those 
important concerns, which lie wholly between man and his 
Maker. 

Roger Williams not only founded a state, but through his in- 
fluence iunong the Indians, he became the Savior of all the other 
colonies. He held his pastoral office four years, and then re^ 
signed the same to Mr. Broom, and preached among the Indians^ 

• Governor Hopkins. 

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34 HISTOST OP 

until he died in the year 16829 aged 84, and was buried in his 
Qwn lot, near Mr. Dorr's house, on Benefit street, Providence, 
Rhode Island."* 

Hugh Evans was a native of Radnorshire, South Wales. 
He b^an to preach' in the year 1642. He was the first settled 
minister in that county. On account of wars and commotions 
in his native country, he went to Coventry in England, when 
he was young ; and there he found the Lord gracious to his 
soul; there he was converted, baptized, and received as a mem- 
ber of the Baptist church. He proved to be a very godly and 
lively man in religion. After he began to preach, he felt much 
concern for the state of religion in Wales. His love for the 
truth and for his country was most wonderful. He even de- 
spised the honor and riches of which he had a good prospect 
in England, and settled with his poor countrymen in Wales. 
Having, however, received a liberal education, under the in- 
structions of Rev. Jeremiah Ives, before he returned. He was 
a very laborious, useful, and acceptable preacher, all the days 
of his life. Through his instrumentality, the church at Dolan, 
in the county of Radnor was formed. He died in the year 
1656. Paul-like, this good man could say the truth in Christ, 
his conscience also bearing him witness, that he had a great 
heaviness and continual sorrow in his heart, for his kinsmen 
according to the flesh; so that it was his most earnest desire, 
that he should be set apart by Christ his heavenly Master and 
glorious Redeemer, to preach the everlasting gospel to them. 
Like Paul, who reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and 
judgment to come, Mr. Evans always considered mankind, not- 
withstanding the depravity of their nature, as reasonable crea- 
tures, who are under the greatest obligations to love God and 
keep his commandments; for the worship of God is a reasona- 
able service. Nothing is m<3afe rational than the testimony of 
Divine Revelation, that God is a Spirit, and, therefore, they 
that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth ; that 
God is love, therefore we ought to love him ; and that Grod is 
good, mercifiil, just, and holy, therefore we should consider it 
pur privilege as well as our duty, to live holily, soberly and 
righteously; to be holy, for God is holy; to render to every- 
one his due; to render to God the praise and adoration due to 
his name, and the obedience due to his commands ; and to be 
just and honest in all our dc^dings with our fellow creatures: 
this is our reasonable service. 

Morgan Lloyd began to preach in 1643. He was converted 

* Benedkt*f Hiatoiy of the Baptists in America. 

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THB WELSH BAPTISTS. 95 

under the ministry of Mr. Cradock, an Independent preacher* 
He was a very wise, shrewd man, remarkable for ready an- 
swers, and a very acceptable preacher throughout Wales, both 
North and South. A ^reat man for deepness of thought and 
correctness in composition; but oflen too mysterious in his ex- 
pressions. He kept up a regular correspondence with Mr. 
Erbury. Those letters contain very valuable matter^ relative 
to the labors, sufferings, and success of both of them. Morgan 
Lloyd published several small books in Welsh ; such as Llyfr 
y tri Aderyn; Gair o'r Gair; Yr Ymrhoddiad; and others. 

We have seen a copy of a letter which he wrote to a friend 
in Welsh, in the translation of which we must acknowledge 
that we are not able to do justice; not only owing to the differ- 
ent idioms of the two languages, but on account of the peculiar 
turn of mind of the person who composed the original. But, 
however, for its antiquity it should not be entirely lost: 

" Wrexham, the 14th day of > 
the 11th month, 1655. ) 
" Dear Madam: 

'* Many who have misspent their breath in life are asthma- 
tical in death. Redeem the time, for with you also the days 
are evil. You should always consider that the true Grod is a 
sufficient God. Every thing that you see in this world as a 
branch, is in him as a root. Rejoice in the invisible goodness. 
Those that are planted in the house of the Lord, shall revive in 
their old age as the com, and shall grow as the vine spoken of 
in the 14th chapter of Hosea. In the midst of the storm, they 
have that anchor spoken of in Hebrews, 6th chapter. Mdny 
souls are fast asleep. Some are half awake, and they will be 
nodding when the Bridegroom shall come. But death will 
shake them ; yes, it will shake them from the world and the 
things thereof. Ask the Lord to awake you in this life, that 
the peace of your soul may not be disturbed hereafter. When 
you feel within you any spiritual pain, you must think that it is 
a wind of love from God, to winnow the chaff from the wheat 
in your heart, that Christ may be chief within. We all her^ 
in the goodness of God, salute you and my sisters. 

. "MoR. Lloyd." 

Writing to his mother-in-law, he says: 

" You have a little grand-daughter here, of the name ol 
Elizabeth Lloyd. It is nothing but a candle lighted by the 
blesised Father of our Spirits. But for your daughter, my dear 



30 RI8T0XT OF 

wife, the Lord has enlarged upon her when she was in distress. 
Consolation will come, if we will wait for it with an easy mind. 
Let God do his own work and let us do our work. 

"MoR. Lloyd." 

We have not seen any account of the death of Moi^an 
Lloyd. He must have had his share of persecution, under 
Charles the first, for five years at least after he began to preach. 
Many good ministers at that time left their native country, and 
have never been heard of since. Some went to America, whose 
names are highly spoken of by American historians, of whom 
the Welsh have no account whatever. It is said that Moi^aa 
Lloyd was in the habit of riding a very good horse. Once 
meeting with two gentlemen — one a lawyer, the other a jus* 
tice of the peace— the magistrate said, " Why do you ride such 
a good horse, sir? why don't you ride an ass like your Mas- 
ter?" " His Majesty has converted so many asses to justices 
that an ass cannot be found for money," was the reply. 
« Well done," said the lawyer; "but I find that his Majesty 
cannot teach them so much wit, as to mind their own business 
and let other people alone." 

Thomas Watkins began to preach at Olchon in 1643.. He 
lived at a place called Maes y ffin, near Capel y fiin. He 
lived through the whole persecution of the two Charles, and 
enjoyed six or seven years of calmness afterwards. He was 
one of the most laborious and most successful ministers in the 
Principality. He was well calculated for the discipline of 
churches. For this very purpose he was sent for, in the year 
1668, by the church at Rhydwiliro, Carmarthenshire, the dis- 
tance of near one hundred miles. We may safely say, that as 
a man, he was much respected; and as a preacher, though 
plain, yet he was truly evangelical. His sermons, though not 
ornamental, were particulariy scriptural; and he often was 
highly favored with the presence of his divine Master. He 
lived and acted up to the profession which he made, and the 
character which he sustained. Yes, verily, he was a burning 
and a shining light, who not only enlightened the understand- 
ing, but warmed the hearts of many. He left behind him a 
good name, which is ten thousand times better than silver and 
gold, or the most precious ointment. 

Thomas Watkins had a peculiar turn of mind, to manage 
unruly members ; to teach the churches to do all things de- 
cently and in order; to have c(»npassion on oae anether; to 
love one another; and to be pitiful and courteous, not rendering 
evil for evil> or railing fw raiHng; to avoid^jj^^pot of bitter- 



THE WBL8H BAPTISTS. 37 

nefls. He wi» a very itriet observer of the goiden rule in 
Matthew 18:159 and wouki never suffer any case to come to 
the church when that rule had been n^lected. And when any 
one brought any thing to the church, m any manner contrary 
to that ride, no notice was taken of it; but the person who vio- 
lated the rule, in bringing any case to the church contrary to 
it, was recognised by the church as an offender — ^not against 
them as a church, nor against any individual on earth — ^but as 
a violator of the positive law of Christ the Head of the church* 
Carnal reason teaches that it is the duty of the offender to go 
to the offended, but the law of Christ commands the offended 
to go to the ofiender. If thy brother offend or trespass against 
thee^ go and tell him his f&uliy between thee and him alone; 
which ought to be done in the spirit of the gospel, and every 
punctilio of that rule should be observed; and if the case must 
come to the church at last, both the offender and the offended 
should abide by its decision. This is mentioned, as a specimen 
of the manner by which Thomas Watkins observed the order 
of the house of God. Our limits will not admit us to enlarge. 

Walter Pressor was born at Llanelly, Carmarthenshire. It 
appears that he and one Mr. Meredith, began to preach in that 
part of the world, about the year 1644. What became of Mr. 
Meredith we know not. It is supposed that he went to America, 
because of the persecution in Wales. As for Walter Pressor, 
he went to Olchon, the Welsh Piedmont, at the foot of the Black 
Mountains, in the year 1652. He was a messenger from that 
church to the association at Abergavenny in 1654, when he 
was appointed to devote some of his time to supply the church 
at Carmarthen, then destitute of a pastor, though the two 
churches are about eighty miles distant from each other. It 
was not a strange thing in those days, for ministers to supply 
churches one hundred miles apart, while some good and even 
great preachers in Wales, at present, never have been fifty 
miles from home. 

Walter Pressor was not learned, but he was a gifted and ac- 
ceptable preacher. In Cromwell's time he removed frcrni Ol- 
chon to Dredynog, in Monmouthshire, and preached there until 
the restoration of Charles the second, when he was driven from 
there. Afterwards he joined the Baptist church at Llantrisaint, 
in the neighborhood of Dredynog. 

Notwithstanding Charles the second was not much better 
than a devil incarnate ; yet to whip the Baptist ministers out of 
the steeple-houses was not one of his worst actions, if he had 
let them alone afterwards; for they had no business there. 
Those houses better became the tithe-gatherers than the minis- 

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3S HISTOXT OP 

tars of the cross. Woridly prosperity, pomp, and grandeur^ 
are dangerous; and however contrary to reason, or common 
sense, ^ however painful and disagreeable to flesh and 
blood is persecution, yet it winnows the chaff from the wheats 
and unites the peopte of God together in love; so that they may 
value their privileges, and be more earnest before God in prayer* 
May the happy inhabitants of the United States of America 
praise God for their liberty, and always recollect, that where 
much is given, much is required. 

John Miles began to preach about the year 1645. He was 
the founder of the Baptist church at Swansea, Glamorganshire, 
South Wales. He was one of the greatest advocates for close 
communion in the Principality, in his time, and the leading 
minister of the Baptist denomination in Wales. 

The church at Swansea was formed in the year 1644. In 
that year, John Miles, the pastor of the church at Swansea, 
wrote a letter to the church of Olchon, in which he promised 
to pay them a visit and defend the practice of close communion ; 
which also he did» And in the following year, he sent thero 
another epistle on that subject, which may be seen recorded in 
the church book at Abergavenny. 

In 1651 he was sent as the representative of all the Baptist 
churches in Wales, to the Baptist ministers' meeting, at Gla- 
zier's Hall, Londbn, with a letter giving an account of the peace, 
union, and increase of the Baptist churches; and returned with 
a written letter from the London ministers to their brethren in 
Wales, in which they were advised to form new churches; so 
that their members who lived at a distance, might be made moro 
useful; and that several of the small churches so formed should 
meet together, as often as convenient, to break bread. And as 
their ordained ministers werc comparatively few, they wero 
advised to look out for the most gifted among themselves, by 
whom they might be edified in the Lord ; for, in so doing, they 
might find out some to labor in word and doctrine among them. 
Mr. Miles wrote an excellent letter to the new-formed church 
at Abergavenny, which they most preciously preserved, for the 
T)enefit of the rising generation.* In the year 1600, after the 
restoration of Charles the second, he was most dreadfully per- 
secuted ; when he /led for his life to New-England, in North 
America. Mr. Thomas, our Welsh historian, concludes by 
observing, that if ever any accounts of the Baptists in America 
should be published^ and ever come to Wales, he would most 
fiinoerely hope, Aat some farther account of our dear brother 

** It is leeotded in thsir Ghnreh Book. 

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THE WMl9a BAPTISTS. 99 

ilHed may be seen by his countrymen ; which we are sorry to 
say has not been realized to this day. 

However, this moment, while we have Edwards' and Bene- 
dict's History before us, we must, for the benefit of our "Welsh 
brethren, once more appear before the pubKc, in clothes bor- 
rowed from American manufacture. 

" In 1663, John Miles came over from Wales, and began 
the church which has continued to this (ky. He founded a 
Baptist church at Swansea, in his native country, in 1649, and 
was one of about two thousand ministers, who were ejected 
from their places of worship, by the cruel act of uniformity in 
1662.* Some of Mr. Miles's company came over with him, 
and at the house of John Butterworth, in Rehoboth, they, to the 
number of seven, united in a solemn covenant. Their names 
were, Elder John Miles, James Brown, Nicholas Turner, Jo- 
seph Carpenter, John Butterworth, Eldad Kingsly, and Benja- 
min Alby. 

This measure became offensive to the orthodox churches of 
the colony. The court was solicited to interpose its influence; 
and the members of this little Baptist church were fined, five 
pounds each, for setting up a public meeting, without the know- 
ledge and approbation of the court, to the disturbance of the 
peace of the place. They were ordered to desist from their 
meeting for the space of a month, and advised to remove their 
meeting to some other place, where they might not prejudice 
any other church. f 

Not long after, they built a meeting house, near Kelly's 
Bridge, at the upper end of Warren, on a neck of land, which 
is now in the township of Barrington. Afterwards it was re- 
moved to the place where the present meeting house stands, 
which is only three miles from Warren and about ten from 
Providence. In 1667, the Plymouth Court, instead of passing 
the sentence of banishment against this little company of Bap- 
tists, as the men of Boston had done against Gould and his as- 
sociates, made them an ample grant of Wamuimoiset, which 
they called Swansea. It then included the extensive territory 
which has since been divided into the towns of Swansea, War- 
ren, and Barrington. Barrington and Warren, now in Rhode 
Island, were then claimed by the Plymouth colony, and aflter* 
wards by the Massachusetts government, until 1741 • 

* As w« had closed the Weleh account of Mr. Miles, before we had seen 
che American Histoiy, it is with pleasure we observe the dates. 

t Poor Brother Miles! who would imagine that the demon pf persecuti 
wwuld meet thee in happv America, among those people who h»' 
their lifes from OM England. n^^^^]^ 

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• 40 HISTORY OF 

What is now the town of Swansea became the resideBoe of 
the Baptists; and no church of the Pedobaptists has ever been 
established here, to perplex and fleece them. However, some 
of their members, who resided in other towns around, were at 
times harassed with ministerial taxes; but their sufferings, of 
this kind were trifling compared with what their brethren in 
other places endured. 

Beside the constituent members of this church, there were 
families of the name of Luther, Cob, Bowen, Wheaton, Mortin, 
Bams, Thurber, Bosworth, Mason, Child, &c., among the 
eariy planters of Swansea; whose posterity are still numerous 
in the surrounding country. 

Mr. Miles continued pastor of the church, until his death in 
1083. What few sketches have been preserved of his life, go 
to show that he bore an excellent character, and was eminently 
useful in his day. 

He lived near a bridge which still bears his name, but a 
small distance from the present meeting house. He labored 
frequently with his brethren in Boston, in the time of their 
sufferings; and at one time there was a proposition for his be- 
coming their pastor, which was not, however carried into effect. 

We are told, that being once brought before the magistrates 
for preaching, he requested a Bible, and opened at these words 
in Job — * Ye should say. Why persecute we him, seeing the 
root of the matter is in himf — which having read, he sat down. 
And such an effect had the sword of the Spirit, that he was 
afterwards treated with moderation, if not with kindness."*, 

William Prichard began to preach about the year 1649; 
-formed a church at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, South Wales, 
1662; was ordained pastor of that church in 1658. He was 
one of the original thirteen that constituted the church, and con- 
tinued their faithful, laborious, and highly esteeptied pastor, for 
sixty years, through the whole of the most severe persecutions 
c^ that monster, commonly called King Charles, as well as 
through the calmness the churches enjoyed in Cromwell's time; 
and we can truly say of him, what we cannot say of some of 
his brethren, that he neither courted the smiles nor feared the 
frowns of earthly courts. 

When King Charles the first was beheaded, the bishops de. 

* Benedict informs us, that large extracts were taken from the records of 
the Swansea church, byyLr, Backus, and sent over to Mr. Thomas, of Leo. 
minister, England, the nistorian of the Welsh Baptists ; but by the expressions 
made bjr Mr. Thomas in concluding Mr. Miles's history, as above, it appears 
those records never came to hand. They vmM have been lost, if sent by Ml 
Backus. ^ . 

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TRS WBL8H lUmfiTS. 41 

throned, and the fbnns and ceremonies of that worship estab*, 
iished by law was done away with, Cromwell's commissioneni 
appointed ministers of every denomination that were willing to 
officiate in the churches, and to receive payment from govern- 
ment. And we are sorry to say, that some of the Baptist minis- 
ters accepted that generous ofifer. But our Brother Prichard 
would have nothing to do with that antichristian system. ' He 
neither would preach in their parish churches, nor take any 
money from government for preaching. , Not that he did not 
want money, for he was a poor man, and his church was so 
poor, that other churches, such as Olchon and Llantrisaint^ 
assisted to support him in the pastoral office. But he would 
have nothing but the people's freewill offerings He never was 
an advocate for the union between cbuvch and state, under any 
form of government whatever* The members of the church 
under his care, were residing at a great distance frome one an* 
other; so that he was a circuk preacher within the bounds of 
his own church. As yet, the Baptists in those parts had no 
meeting houses. About the year 1697, Mr. Prichard had a 
meeting house built within two miles of the town of Aberga- 
venny, in the parish of Llanwenarth, where the church meets 
to this day; consisting, at present, of about six hundred mem- 
bers. In the year 1668, 1^ formed a Baptist church at Rhyd- 
wilim, about one hundred miles from Llanwenarth. In 166d 
he attended the general association in London, as the represen- 
tative of the Welsh churches. In 1696 he formed a church at 
Blaenegwent, consisting of sixty members when formed. In 
1669 he formed another church at Maesyberllan. He was a 
very diligent and useful preacher, at home and abroad, until he 
died in the Lord, in the year 1109^ 

John Tombs. In the year 1653, there was a public debate 
on baptism, at A^iergavenny, between Mr. Tombs and Mr. 
Cragg: the former a Baptist, the latter a Pedobaptist. Many 
were convinced that believers are the only subjects of baptism, 
and that immersion is the only mode of baptism ; and more than 
forty persons were baptized and added to the church under the 
pastoral care of Mn Prichard. We do not know from where 
Mr. Tombs came to Abergavenny. How long he continued 
there, and what became of him afterward we cannot tell. He 
most dreadfully irritated and mortified Mr. Cragg, and most 
nobly defended the Baptist principles. This is all we have 
ever read of him. 

Abbot was a Baptist prober in the parish church at 

Abergavenny, in Cromwell's timeit In 1660 he was turned 
out from there, and joined the Baptist association. 

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48 xuTOtr OF ^ 

J^kin Jones was a Baptist preacher whose name is often 
mentioned by our Welsh historian^; but not one of them has 
given us any particular account of him. In Thomas's History 
of the Baptists in Wales, his nanie is mentioned as a travelling 
preacher of the Baptist denomination, as early as the year 
1541. In Cromwell's time, we merely find his name men- 
tioned as one of the commissioners that were appointed to 
examine and judge who were qualified, or rather who pos- 
sessed those qualifications, which rendered them fit ministers to 
dficiate in the difi^rent parishes, and to be paid by government. 
No doubt the government paid him well while he held that sta- 
tion; but King Charles made him smart for it. From the his- 
tory of the church at Rhydwilim, and other documents, where 
his name is as it were accidentally mentioned, we learn that he 
was imprisoned in the castle at Carmarthen, for a considerable 
time. He never became a pastor of any church,* nor was he 
much esteemed by the Baptists, after he became a commissioner 
in the regulation of church and state; which was highly offen- 
sive to the Baptist churches. They were not so much against 
a minister's preaching occasionally in a parish church; but 
they were decidedly against their being supported by govern- 
ment; and would rather their ministers would never darken 
the doors of those houses, built by king's-craft and priest-craft, 
with the poor people's money. The rise and progress of the 
Baptist interest in Wales, are not indebted to the labors of such 
men. In every place throughout the Principality, in the time 
of most dreadful persecution, where the ministers kept with 
their flocks, and preached to them by night when they could 
not preach to them by day, in the woods and on the mountains; 
and in the times of peace and calmness, led their flocks by the 
still waters, and fed them with heavenly manna; we positively 
say, that in every place where the ministers thus acted, there 
is a Baptist church there to this day. Some of them now con- 
tain seven or eight hundred members; and many of their per- 
secuted ministers and members have heard the joyful sound, 
" Well done, ye good and faithful servants." 

Thomas Parry was baptized and joined the church at Ol- 
chon, about the year 1641, and continued therein an honorable 
member, main pillar, and assistant preacher, for the space of 
sixty-eight years. The church m<et in his dwelling-house called 
Wenalt, most of the time of those dreadful persecutions under 
the reigns of Charles the first and Charles the second. Just at 

* In Cromwell's time he officiated in the parish church of Llangatwg, near 
Neath, Glamorganshire. ^ , 

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THE VrUlMM BAFnSTS. 43 

die time tbe war commenced between Charles the Ant and the 
Parliament, when those bold and zealous ministers of the cross, 
Vavasor Powell, William Thomas, and others, were obliged to 
escape for their lives from their native country, behold our 
Brc^her Parry steps forward, takes hold of the rope, ^ and pulls 
with all his might. He strengthens the hands of Vaughan, 
Prosser, Watkins, and others, by a hard pull, a long pull, and 
a pull altogether. Like a noble general, he takes hold of the 
fyigf marches forward, and cries out aloud that he never was 
bom to die on the field of battle, and that even he that loseth 
his life shall find it. Iif the name of his God he hoisted up his 
banners. He cared not for the sword, the famine, and flames 
of fire, to which the people of God at that time were exposed* 
His dwelling house was the Jerusalem of Wales, to which pil- 
grims resorted and found themselves refreshed both in their 
souls and bodies. He was really a hospitable man, in the 
Welsh sense of the word. 

When he was young, it pleased God to visit him with a 
very severe affliction. In his affliction he dreamed that he was 
dead. He saw two different places before him : one of them 
was a very terrible and miserable place, where innumerable 
multitudes of the human race are eternally tormented in that 
iire which is never quenched, and where their worm dieth not, 
bound with chains of darkness, to be reserved unto the judg- 
ment day ; where there is not the least drop of mercy — not so 
much as a di^op of cold water to cool the tongues of those 
miserable beings; where there is no light, but utter darkness^ 
where all carnal pleasures are lost in eternal sorrows; where 
there is no hope to all eternity, and no better company than 
devils, the mess^gers of destruction; and where the wrath of 
God is poured out without mixture, and the smoke of their tor« 
ment ascendeth up for ever and ever, under the most painful 
sensation of every thing that is bad, and the eternal loss of 
every thing that is good. 

The other place was so unspeakably glorious, that ear hath 
not heard, eye hath not seen, neither hath it ever entered into 
the heart of man, to imagine the glory of those heavenly man* 
sions, where there is no serpent to tempt; no sorrow, nor pain, 
nor death; no darkness of mind, and no evil heart of unbelief; 
but white robes for garments of mourning; the palm of victory 
instead of the sword, and the crown of glory instead of the 
cross; eternal riches, and no poverty; unspeakable joy, and no 
sorrow; and continual light, and no darkness at all: where 
Christ, the heavenly Lamb, is in the midst of the throne, con* 

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44 HI8T0ST OF 

tinually adored by angels, seraphim, and spirits of just men 
made perfect. 

Thomas Parry, in his dream, requested that he might he ad- 
mitted to enter that glorious place. He was answered that he 
should not come in at that time; tha^ he must go first and get 
some bread. He cried with a loud voice, When shall I go in 
there? He was answered, after ten days. He awoke, and 
behold it was a dream. But it made so much impression on his 
mind, that when he recovered from his illness, he went to hear 
the Episcopal minister in the parish church, and became a lit- 
tle more moral as to his outward conduct. 

One day, as he was going to his place of worship, he met 
an old woman going to the Baptist meeting, and being request- 
ed, he went there also. The text was, " I am the bread of 
life." The sermon had so much efiect upon him, that he 
thought he would go there again. The text, the second time, 
was, "And ye shall have tribulation ten days." Then he 
•thought of his dream, and the interpretation thereof; for the 
preacher showed him what was that bread of life, without 
which he could not go to heaven, and described the tribulation 
that he must expect to meet with on his way there; and that it 
was to continue only for a short time, in comparison with that 
' eternity to which he was hastening. These were the means of 
his conversion to God; and from this time to the end of his 
life, he suffered affliction with the people of God. Soon after 
he joined the church, he was called to the work of the ministry. 
I^is name is in the minutes of the association held at Aberga- 
venny, in 1653; and also in the minutes of the association 
held at Llanwenarth, in 1705. The church of Olchon met at 
his house, during his time, during the life of his son, David 
Parry, and the life of his grandson, Nathaniel Parry, for the 
space of one hundred years. 

Thomas Parry was a godly and peaceable man, and very 
useful in the cause of Christ in many respects, and died in good 
old age,- triumphing in redeeming grace and dying love, in the 
year 1709. 

In Mr. Parry's neighborhood, there was a very sensible man 
of the name of Price, who would sometimes hear the Episcopa- 
lian, and sometimes the Baptist ministers. Being asked what 
he thought of the Episcopalian minister of the Hay. He an- 
swered poetically as follows. Such is the meagreness of our 
English language, in comparison with the Welsh, that we will 
not attempt to spoil it by a translation; but the Welsh emigrant 
in the United States shall have it as it is : 

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I THK WBL8H BAPTISTS^ 45 

** T mae Thomaa Pany yn well i biegethii« 
Na fSdiTtd f Gelli, er u>rchi*r wisg weo; 
Peth liiyfedd bod ciyddioo, taell¥riaid,gwehyddioD« 
Yn baeddu 'sgolheigion Rhydychen.** 

The substance is this: "Thomas Pftrry is a far better 
preacher than the clergyman of the Hay, notwithstanding he 
wears a twrplice. It is a wonder that shoemakers, tailors, and 
weavers, beat the Oxford scholars." 

John Rees Howell was a member and an assistant preacher 
of the church at Olchon, about the year 1645, and continued 
among them till his death, in 1699. 

It appears that these servants of the most high Crod, began 
their pilgrimage about the same time, were both monbers and 
preachers of the same church, and finished their course nearly 
tc^ther: And we have no reason to douht, but that they are 
together now in the mansions of glory, singing hallelujah to 
God and the Lamb. However, in the church militant, they 
had to endure affliction with the people of God, especially from 
the year 1660, nearly to the end of their lives. At that time^ 
the church generally met in two or three different places: At 
Wenalt, as stated before; at the Wem Wer, the house of Da- 
vid Watkins; afterwards, at the Baily-bach, the house of John 
Gilbert. But for twenty-eight years, in the reign of Charles 
the second, the church had to meet in the most secret places by 
night, somewhere in the woods, or on the Black Mountain, or 
the rough rock. They were obliged to change the place every 
week, that their enemies might not find them out. Often the 
friends of the infernal foe diligently sought them, but found 
them not. While the wolves were searching in one mountain, 
the lambs were sheltering under the rock of another. But not* 
withstandmg all their care and prudence, they were sometimes 
caught, and most unmercifully whipped and fined, as violaters 
of the law of the land, and their cattle and household furniture 
seiised, to pay the fine and expenses of the executioners of the 
law. The safest place they ever found, was in the woods, under 
a large rock, called Darren Ddu, or the Black Rock. It is a 
most dreadful steep, and the roughest place we have ever seen. 
Surely our Welsh brethren, at that time, had trials of cruel 
(neckings and scourgings, bonds and imprisonment; for they 
ivere hunted in the woods, and mountains, and the tops of the 
rocks of the wild goats. They were destitute, afflicted, and 
:orttiented. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens 
ind caves of the earth. But notwithstanding all this, they 
persevered. They enjoyed much of the divine Presence on 

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46 BXITOBT OP 

the Black Rock,''^ in the severest weather. Among the Bap- 
tists who suffered thus, there were some wealthy people; such 
as Mrs. Watkins of Llanigon^ and others. Mrs. Watkins had 
a very pious servant man, to whom she used to give every 
Lord's day morning, as much silver as she could hold in her 
hand, for him to distribute to the poor on that day. She never 
counted it, nor was he ever mistrusted. 

Thomas John Williams was a member and an assistant 
preacher of the church at Olchon. He generally preached in 
his*own house; and was remarkably diligent in things belong- 
ing to this world and the world to come. When requested to 
rest, he would say, " This ig not a resting-place, but I shall 
rest in the other world. On long winter nights, when the 
family were seated around the fire, he would retire once oi 
twice every night to pray in secret. Many wondered at his 
piety, humility, and becoming conduct. We have never read 
■any thing more about him. 

Thomas Proud was a member and an assistant preacher of 
the church at Swansea. He began to preach in the year 1645. 
He preached there as an assistant to John Miles, after the 
church was formed in the year 1649, and supplied other desti- 
tute churches, until he settled in one of those places established 
by law in Cromwell's time. He was turned out in the yeai 
1660, on the restoration of Charles the second; and fled for 
his life somewhere — we know not where. 

David Davis was a member and a minister of the church at 
Llantrisaint. He began to preach in the year 1645, and 
preached much at home and at Abergavenny, until the yeai 
1654, when the association was held at Llantrisaint, there was 
a charge brought against him by the church to the association, 
that he made use of some harsh expressions; but on the most 
mature deliberation of the subject, he was cleared. At the 
same time, the ministers finding the church was not satisfied, 
advised him to remove to some other part, where his preaching 
would be more acceptable, and where his labors might be more 
blessed. He accordingly removed from Llantrisaint to Neath, 
in the same county ; and afterwards preached to the judges al 
Cardiff*. He had three brothers belonging to the Baptists: one 
of them was high sheriflT; the other, deputy sheriff; and the 
third was recorder. 

Morgan Jones began to preach at Swansea, South Wales, 

* This Black Rock belonged to a gentleman of the name of Hiu^ Lewii 
ivhose daughter was then a member with the BaiAists. She was the mothei 
of that excellent man, whose name is well known all over the religious world 
Hugh Eving, of Bristol ^ , 

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THB WELSH BAPVItTS* 47 

about 1646. He was a member of that church, and was highly 
respected as a good preacher. He accepted a commission to 
preach at Llanmatog, from which he was turned out in 1660. 
Dr. Calamy calls him a good ploughman. He was certainly a 
very good linguist; and whatever might have been Dr. C.'s 
motive in informing us that he was a good ploughman, it was 
a recommendation to his character; and many good Baptist 
preachers in Wales, to this day, can manage the plough very 
well, and can truly say that they have experienced as much of 
the presence of God, when their hands were lawfully employed 
about the things of this world, as any where else. And the 
writer of this, is far from being ashamed to place himself 
among them; so far, indeed, that he deems it a very great 
honor. So much so, that he would prefer G. P., Good Plough- 
man, in addition to his name, to D. D., Doctor in Divinity. 
However, this is not the only instance in which that great 
Doctor has cast out insinuations before his readers. He is full 
of them through the whole of his writings. The Doctor was 
one of tbat class of men, who seem to be most dreadfully af- 
flicted with hydrophobia, whenever they think of a man who 
has been dipped all over in water; and, being an Englishman, 
he could not speak very highly of any other nation. Most of 
the citizens of the United States know, that it is a failing pecu* 
liar to an Englishman. Poor man I 

Morgan Jones had to escape for his life in the reign of Charles 
the second. It is thought that he went to England in disguise, 
as did many others at mat time. Whether he became a shep- 
herd or a miller there, we cannot tell. We have heard of one 
of the ejected ministers, who went to England, and hired him- 
self as a shepherd to a nobleman in that country. One day 
the nobleman's wife was very ill, and he sent for the officiating 
clergyman of the parish to come and pray for his wife. The 
clergyman being a great sportsman, told the messenger that he 
would comply with the nobleman's request after his return 
from hunting. The nobleman hearing this, became very un- 
easy in his mind, and thought it very strange that a man who 
called himself a minister of the gospel, should prefer hunting 
to praying. One of his domestics told him that the shepherd 
could pray very well; that he went out every night to pray in a 
certain private place; and that he had watched him, and heard 
him praying many times. On hearing this, the shepherd was 
sent for, and was requested to pray ; ard he prayed so power- 
fully that the nobleman's heart was melted. He urged the 
poor shepherd to tell him whence he came, and what he had 
been. The shepherd reluctantly told him the whole history of 

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48 KI9T0ST OF 

himaelf; aQcL ^ nobleman said, ^^Well^ tken^ hencefiirtli jod 
shall be a shepherd of m^i. The nobleman built him a meet* 
ing house, attended his ministry, and never troubled the sport' 
ing huntsman any more. 

Thomas Quarrel was a native of North Wales. Though he 
was Quarrel byname, and a warrior by office, yet he was a man 
of a vejy mild and peaceable disposition* He was an dScer 
in Cromwell's army, and often preached with the sword bang-t 
ing at his side. What time he began to preach we do no! 
know; but it must have been before the restoration of Charles 
the second; foir that was the time he was turned out of the 
parish church in Salop.* It appears that this was the time he I 
was baptized. He afterwards preached through the county of 
Salop for many years. About the year 1670, he removed to 
Mcmmouthshire, and settled near Usk, in that county. Hei 
preached there, and at Pontypool and other places; so thati 
by his labors, in connection with others, a Baptist church vas 
formed, or reorganized, at Penygam near PontypooJ. He 
also often preached about St. Weonard's, in Herefordshire, and 
baptized many there. He was the first settled minister oyer 
the Baptist church at Usk, where his labors were not in vain. 
It was rather singular to see any minister joining the Baptist 
denomination in 1660: a time when so many eminent miBisj 
ters among the Baptists were obliged to leave the country, aDO 
others were imprisoned. About this time, John Miles, one of 
the leading ministers of the Welsh association, fled for his hfe 
to North America. At this time. Vavasor Powell, the most 
useful travelling preacher that Wales ever produced, was im- 
prisoned for life, for preaching the everlasting gospel. And a 
this time, many great and good ministers left the Principally 
and never have been heard of since: some to America, la y^ 
character of preachers, and others to England in *^^^^^ 
And it is more than probable, that some of them were murdereo 
on their way ; whilst others had to endure the most dreadi 
persecutions at home. To see a man of Mr. Quarrel's talen s 
and learning, and especially a nian who had been an ^^^\! 
the army of (what was called) the rebels, enlisting under 
banner of the cross, among the poor, despised Baptists ot 
flay — we say, was a wonder. But it is a greater wonder s 
that we cannot find out one single instance of his P^^^? Jug 



after he joined the Baptists. We quit his history 
greatest astonishment ! 

Wonders of grace to God belong; 
Repeat his mercies in your song 1 

* A county in England, on the bordere of Walefl* 

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with tb« 



THE ^'ELSir BAPTISTS. 49 

T. Quarrel died in 1682, and was buried at Llangw'm, near 
Usk, in the counQr of Mopiriouth, South Wales. 

Howell Thomas and Thomas Joseph, were both members 
and preachers belonging to the Baptist church at Lfantrisahit* 
They began to preach nearly at the same time, about the ye^r 
1646. In the year 1655, the conhnissioners appointed them 
to preach in those houses established by law: Joshua Thomas 
at Glynoorwg, and Thomas Joseph at Llangeinwr; both places 
in Glamorgan shil«. They were botheje<4ed in 1666, and left 
their native country by reason . of the persecution; Joshua 
rhoitiaa expressed a hope, that if ever he sliould see the History 
of the Baptists in America, by the Rev. Morgan Edwardsj 
some farther account of th^tn might be seen, if «ver they went 
to America. We have examined the-first volume of EMwards' 
History, but nofhiention is made of them there. Neither is 
there any tbing in Benedict's History concerning them. 

Anthony Harris was a member "at Llantrisaint ; was dis- 
missed frpm there, and, joined the church at Abergavenny, 
when it was formed in the year 1653/ He was soon ordained 
deacon of that churehl and in the year 1654 he began to 
preach. He #as a gifted man, bu^ his life did not altogether 
eorrespond with J}is profession. However, the . church could 
not find any thing against him of a criminal nature, but some 
things that were doemoil imprudent; therefore it was agreed 
Hmt he should give up his ofBce as a deacon, and deyote hfm-. 
5elf entirely to the work of the ministry. He was authorized 
by the goverrimont to pi-each in the parish of Llanfihaqgel, and 
tiie conjraissionere permitted him to receive what was due to 
the clergyman from that parish. He was one of the ejected 
ministers we know, and the great day of judgment will reveal 
what became of him fiftervvards. . • . 

Tliomas Jones began • to preach at Llantrisaint in the year 
1646. About, the year 1655; all the preachers belonging to 
Llantrisaiiit left thcrc, and officiated in those places esfabHshed 
by law, except Thomas Jones. He never accepted the com- 
missioner's appointrrjent to preach in any parish. About the 
same time, a branch of the church at fctantrisaint was formed- 
into a regular church at Hengod, whicli continues to this day. • 
Thomas Jones \^as one of the original constituents who lived 
ill that neighborhood. ' He became their rnirtister, and preached 
IS often as he could also at Llantrisaint. He labored anting 
thcm, and suffered much with them, for the best cause, a3 
long as be lived, fele died about the year 1680. The church, 
pn^r his pastoral care, met at ftrst in two different places:, at 

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50 BX8T0B¥ «^P 

Berthiwyd -and €wug-yr-allt. WillUtoi Jones,* who liyed at 
the latter plaoe, was iihpnsoned, aifd all his property forfeited 
to thft king, for permitting preaching in his house. Notwith- 
standing the most dreadi'ul persecution in- these parts, many 
respect5)le men joined the ehureh; such as Colonel Pvichardf 
ot Llancayach, Captain Evans of Dyffryn-y-ffhi^d, and others^ 
who endured their part of the persecution, and whose liberality 
was very acceptable to those who lost thdr all by reason of tb& 
persecution. • One of Thomas Jdnes' members, well known by 
the name of Old Savin, thcnigh dead yet speaketh — not by 
his w^ritings, for he never published any— but by his ready an- 
swers and sharp repiH^ofs; which are related from genetation 
to generation. .One day, as- several^young men were violating 
the Sablmth, one of them. said, ^^Here comes Old Savin, we 
shall have it now"— Another said, " No, no, i^ shall ask him 
a few questions." As soon as he came near them, he was 
asked how many commandments there were. He answered, 
eight. One of the young men observed, that he thought there 
were ten. " Yes," said the old man, " there were, but the pope 
ha^ broken one by worshipping images,- and you have broken 
another this very day." This reproof had a ^ry desirable 
effect, in consequence of the manner in which jt was given, 

Thomas Jones was not a learned but a faithful and good 
preacher of the cross, who could give a plain exhibition of the 
obedient Kfe, painful sufferings, and excruciating death of 
Christ, for the chief of sinners* And it 4s worthy of remark, 
that there is no theme of the gospel which arrests the attention 
and affects the^ hea^t, so much as the preaching of Christ and 
him crucified, his resurrection from the grave, his triumphant 
victory over the powers of darkness, and his most wonderful as- 
eehsion to the man^ons of glory, where he sits on the right hand 
or the Father,' and makes intercession for iis, : To this doctrine, 
under the blessing of God, Thomas Jones attributed his success 
in propagating the gospel among the Ancient Britons. This was 
considered by him a distingiiishing trait ai^d cardinal point of 
the gospel ; the golden thread runnii!ig through the whole gar- 
' ment; the sword by which ihc sinews of purgatory, penance, 
and all the merits of the works of sinful men arequtin pieces; 
the. mighty hammer t^at l>eats down all superstitions and hu^ 
man invQ^tions, Hke Dagon before the ark of the Lord; yes, 

* It is supposed that he was Ae minlste/s brother. 

t The present Lord Talbot is a descendant from Caionol Prichard, in the 
wnalc line. 



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THB WSLSH BAPTISTS. 51 

the vwy ^wndotioa upon which die^ church is built> and th^ 
gates of hell*eaiinot pretaii against it. 

Thomas Evans b^gan to preach at Bcmtnewydd, on the bor • 
.ders of Radnorshire, some time before the year 1653 ; for, at 
that tiine> he was authorized by government to preach, which 
the following extract evidently proves: 

5* By the Commission for the Propagation of the gospel in 
Wales: Whereas five of the ministers, in the act of parliament 
named, bearing date the 2§th of February, 1649, and entitled, an 
act for the better propagation of the gospel in Wales, haye accord- 
ing to the tenor of the said act, approved of Mr. Thomas Evans 
the. younger, to be a person qualified for the work of the minis- 
try, and reoomme^ded him with their advice to lis, that he be 
encouraged in the work of the ministry; we do, according to 
an order to us directed by the committee of five at Ne^, 
therefore order, that Mr. John Price, Treasurer,, shall forthwith 
pay unto the said Thomas JSvans, the sum of thirty pounds, 
which we have thought fit to allow him toward his salary and 
encourag^fnent in the work of the ministry. And this our 
order, tog^her with his acquittance, shal} be a sufficient dis- 
charge for the said Treasurer. Dated under our hand, 16th 
•f May, 1653. John Williams, ,&c." 

In the year 1656, Thomas Evans became the assistant of 
Henry Gregory, the pastor of the Baptist church at Bontne*^ 
wydd and Dolau. Though Mr. Evans received the above 
commission, yet he never did confine himself to anypjrish, 
but as he had that authority^ he would sometimes pi:^ach in a 
parish church, sometimes in a bam, and sometimes in private 
houses^ or iA the open air ; he thought it was his duty to preach 
wheitever there were people iinlling to hear Yiirtu In the time 
of persecution he sufiered by fine and imprisonment. So great 
was the persecution in that region, that the king's friends would 
not sufier the Baptists to bury their dead in the grave-yards. 
One young woman being bi^ried in the night, was ordered by 
the officiating clergyman of the parish to be taken up and 
buried on the cross roads. However, he soon died very sud- 
denly and most miser2U)ly. The people, in general, attributed 
the cause of his wretched death, to his cruel conduct to the re- 
mains of the Baptist girl* • * 

Thomas Evans was a faithful and acceptable preacher in his 
life, arid died in peace in the year 1688; which was the last 
year of the persecution under Charles tjie second. From him 
as the root,^$prung up ^ight or nine branches, that became cde* 

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52 HISTORY OP 

brated ministers of the gospel: all belonging to the Baptist de- 
nominationt We do not now recdlect to have -ever read or 
heard of any thing like it. 

1st. Thomas Evans, senior, was a member of the Baptist 
church. 

2d. Thomas Evans, the preacher at Bontnewydd. 

3d. Caleb Evans, 4th. John Evans, his sons, ministers 'of 
the gospel. . 

6th. Hugh Evans, M. Ar, 6th. Caleb Evans, 7th. Peter 
Evans, 8th. John Evans, his grandsons, minivers of the gos- 
pel. • 

9th. Caleb' Evans, M. A., lOih. Caleb Evans^ M. A., his 
^reat grandsons, ministers of the gospel: the former, in Bns- 
tol, England ; the latter died in America. 

Henry Gregory began to preach at Dolau, in Radnorshire, 
about the year 1656. As to his circumstances in the world, 
he was pnce called a respectable farmer. But he lost all fai- 
Immanuel's cause. All his. stock and crop were taken away 
from him, being forfeited to the king because he was a Baptist 
— excef)t one cow, whiph they left him that the children might 
have some milk to drink. But one day they returned, and took 
that cow away also, and left him nothing but his wife and chil- 
dren. .One of the men who drove his cattle through the river, 
near hi» house, with such a glee and merriment, in the course 
of a few days was drowned in that v^ry ford, in sight of his 
house. Another was actually eaten up of worms like Herod. 
A third said, on his dying bed, tht^t the thoughts of l^is having 
had any thing to, do with the property of Henry Gregory, was 
a continual torment to him. It was a visible judgment of God 
upon the persecutors, which put an end to the persecution in 
this part of the world. There is a line beyond ,which God will 
not suffer the rage of man to go; and he can make the remain- 
der of wrath to praise him. . 

Henry Gregory was a faithful preacher. He possessed pecu- 
liar talents to set forth the duty of man to love the Lord, found- 
ed on man's obligation unto him as his Creator, Benefactor, and 
rightful Sovereign, who has an undisputed right to demand our 
obedience, adoration, and praise ; for he has made us and not 
we ourselves ; and he has made us but little lower than the an- 
gels, and haa crowned us with much more lofty honpr and 
glory, than, any other creature on the terr^rial globe. He 
has given us a Variety of membere in due proportion, with- 
out any confusion, and has endowed us. with understanding as 
teasonable beings, and Jias l^t and defended us ever since we 
have ha^ our existence ; supported us in our actions, plt^sided over 

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TnS WSLSB BA.JPTI91>3. 53 

our mov^fnents, and inspected our sererftl additions: Stndy 
we ought to love kirn ibr what he is ill and of himself, hat bow 
much more «hould we }ove him for what he has done for us. 
He remembered us when we were in our low estate. He sent 
his Son to save us from guilt, and darkness^ and eternal ^ruin; 
from the curse of the law and the threatenings of vindictive jus- 
tice; and from the power and dominion of sin. He so loved 
us, as to give his only-begotten Son, who suffered, bled, and 
died for us.- And shal^ we not love himi Yes, verily, we 
nnist, we will love him. We know it is wr duty, we deem it 
our privilege, to* evidence our love and our gratitucfe to him, by 
observing his statutes and keeping his commandments; to ren* 
der obedienee unto him &s the only King and Lawgiver in 
Zion ; who said unto us, ^^ If ye love me keep my command* 
ments." 

We do not know what time Mr. Gregory was ordained pas- 
tor over the church at Dolau, Howe/er, we know that from 
the time •he began to preach, he Jabored among them as long 
as he lived. He died in the yeaF 1700* 

Christopher Price was a member'of the church at Aberga- 
venny, began to j)reach about the year 1655, and continued an 
assistant preacher ill that church, until he died in 1697. He 
was a good preacher, a respectable man,, and an excdlent phy- 
sician. He gave the ground oii which the meeting house at 
Llanwenarth is bUlt. And in many other respects he was 
lecy liberal, and his £eart was engaged in the cause of Christ. 
• John Pricie of Maes-^^gelli, Nantmel, was a preacher of the 
*gospel in the church at D^au^ Radnorshire. He was an assistr 
ant to Mr. Gregory. What time he b^gan to preach we do not 
know. He was an intelligent man, aild very zealous fbr the 
truth. Being a rich man in the world, he had a considerable 
influence in the region where he lived; • as we may well expect 
when piety, property, and prudence meet together.. But as he 
lived in the time of persecution, ha had to endure a part of the 
afflictions wherewith the people of God were afflicted- He died 
in the year 1673, and was buri^ in the. grave-yard at Nant- 
mel, and a tombsttwie is laid on. his grave. As he bore testi- 
mony in his life-time against the supen^idons of the established 
church, so he did in his death. The church of England bury 
all their dead with their heads taward the west^ but he ordered 
that his head should be buried towards the east; and a brass 
plate was set in his tombstone, to certify that he would not con- 
form to the church of England, dead or alive.- And to that 
bSof^U though dead yet he speaks to the present generatiob. . 
6 ♦ 

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U4 niSTOHY OF 

' Thomas Price was a member and assistaat preacher of the 
church at Olchon, about the latter end of the persecution. He 
was remarkably giiled, but not an acceptable, preacher: for 
what cause our Welsh historians have hot iaforraed us. 
Neither can we find out what time he began to preach, nor 
when he died.' His name is found amtmg 4he ministers of the 
associations, in the years 1704 and 1705. • 

Robert Morgan began to preach. about the year 1636. He 
was a messenger from the Baptist church at Carmarthen to the 
a^ociation held at Abergavenny, in- 1 653. He bore testimony 
for the truth, through the whole of the persecutions for twenty- 
eight years* Marty of the Baptists were imprisoned at Car- 
marthen, because they would not quit going to the meeting- 
house, and conform to the traditions of men; but they bore 
testimony with such zeal, and manifested such a degree of 'pa- 
tience in their suffbrings, that even those who.mocked them and 
pelted them with stones, retur<ned home weeping, saying there 
must be such a thing as religion, and these men h«^e it, for 
nothing else would enable them to behave in the manner they 
do. The more they are persecuted, the more they rejoice; the . 
more we curse them, the more they bless us., God was glori- 
fied, saints encouraged, and sinners converted/ by their becom- 
ing conduct towards their enemies. So hot and terrible was the 
persecution at* that time, that the Baptists in thisr region sent, a 
most humble petition to his Majesty, Kipg Charles the second, 
soliciting mercy and justice, w-hich was put into the kingfe 
hand by the member of Parliament f#r Carmarthen. In that 
humble petition they conclude. by saying: " Diking ! we danf 
not walk the streets, and we ar6 abused even in our own houses. 
If we pray to God with our families, we are threatened to bo 
hung. Some of us are stoned almost to death, and others im- 
prisoned for worsliipping God accoiiling to the dictates of their 
consciences. and tlie rule of his word." His majesty gave them 
a very polite answer, with fair promises, whi(?h were never ful- 
filled; for their suflferings increased more and more. Such 
w€is the lamentable state of our (Celebrated fatliers in the Princi- 
pality of Wales, in the reign of King Charies the second. . 

At this time, in 1600, Robert Morgan had to fly' for his life. 
However, he did not go fartlier than about fifteen miles from 
the town. He hired a house. at Pontarddulcs, and preached in 
his own hiired house and elsewhere — not fbr the space of two 
years, Kke Paul in Rome — but until he died in 1711. After 
he moved from Carmarthenv he became a member of the churcli 
al Swansea, and preached the^e occasionally. He was an ex- 
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THE V,'ELSII BAPTISTS. 55 

cellent man, good preacher, and a groat poet. During, the lat- 
ter part of his life, he resided with his daughter, who was mar- 
ried to Arthur Melchior, who afterwards went to Pennsyl- 
vania, North America. ' . 

Lewis Thomas began to preach in- 1660. Just at the time 
John Miles Jiad to leave his native country by reason of the 
persecution, to seek reftige in North America, the Almighty 
God took care 6f the church at Swansea that he left beJiind him. 
The sheep and the lambs who were left without a shepherd, 
were fed, guided, and protected by the instrumentality of Lewis 
Thomas. The moment we think of the events that took place 
in the years 1660 and 1662, when so many cetebrated minis- 
ters fled for their lives, and as many, if not more, engaging in 
the werk of the mini«try at the same period, we are entirely at 
a loss to know, whether we shall mostly pity the former or ad- 
mire^ the latter. Yea, rather, let us admire^he wisdom of God, 
whose ways arc higher than our ways, and whose thoughts 
arc higher than oar thoughts,* whose goodness knows no limits, 
and whose faithfulness is such, that he will nevx;r, no never, 
no never forsake his church in the wilderness. 

Lewis Thomas was a member of the church at Swansea, 
South Wales, some time before the year 1653; for as a mem- 
ber of the .said church, we find bis name in connection with 
others, in a letter sent by John Miles to the church at Aberga- 
venny, bearing the above date: As John Miles, the first pastor 
of the church at Swansea, was the leading minister of the 
Baptist association in Wales, in the time of peace and calmness ; 
so Lewis Thomas, the second pastor of the church at Swansea, 
was the most celebrated minister among the Bajitists -in that 
Principality, in the time of most dreadful persecution. He 
lived at the Moor, in the parish of Newtown, neac Margam, 
Giamorgansliire. He was actually a missionary within tho 
bounds of Jiis own church, and often visited other churches in 
their troubles and distresses. How extensive was the field of 
his labors! Most wondcriul was his care of the churches! 
And so j^rcat was his zeal for Christ and his cause that 
ho feared no evil! The enemy's artillery seemed to play 
in vain on him. Nothing could impede liis progress; The 
inclomnncy of the weather would never, detain him from a 
journey to fulfil his appointments. Hardships, fatigue, and 
bad tronrmcnt, seemed to be his familiar companions.. To 
make ut^e of a Welsh expression concerning him, " his fore- 
head seemed to have been made of brass, and his shoes of 
iron." And as his days were, so was hi^ strength. The 
grace* of God was sufficient for him ; and by the grace of God 

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56 HISTORY. OP 

he was what he was* Truly he kbored more'abandantly than 
any in his ^ya; and would say, ^' Not unto me, not unto me^ 
but unto thy name, O Lord, be the glory I" 

From the year 1649 to the year 1660, they held ther annual 
associations; but during- the persecution, from 4660 tp 1668, 
the associations were dropped. . In 1689, there was a general 
association for all the Baptists in England and Wales, in the 
city of London, and Lewis Thomas was the representative from 
Walcsi Aflerwards it was divided : one was held in London, 
and the other in Bristol. The Welsh churches joined tbe Bris- 
tol association, it being nearer them. In 1700, it was divided 
again, when all the Welsh churches were formed into a sepa- 
rate association. The two first were held at Llanwenarth; 
afterwards, at Swansea and Llanwenarth alternately, for six or 
seven yeare; then at Rbydwilim, and all the<;hurches in regu- 
lar rotation. Att|^ commencement of the associations held in 
Wales, after the time*of .what is called the liberty of conscience, 
Lewis Thomas was the leading minister. Jtlis name is m the 
minutes of the association held at Llanwenarth in 170d. 
Though he was old and feeble, yet. he was there; and before 
their next annual meeting, he joined the association of the spi- 
rits of just men made perfect. . 

Though he was a man of- very strong ponstitution, yet by 
reason of old age, he became feeble at 'last, and when he was 
not able to stand up, he would call for his. staff, and leaning 
upon it, he would talk and pray most wonderfully. His death 
was most bitterly lamented by the church and many others. 
So this apostolical preacher finished his course, having fought 
the good fight, and having kept the faith, he died in peace, 
his eyes seeing the salvation of the Lord. 

John Edward was a member and assistant preacher of the 
church of Abergavenny. He was a useful exhorter, was 
appointed to preach about Llanfihangel, where his labors were 
not altogether in vain. But about Llangors, in Brecknockshire, 
his labors were greatly blessed, and he was very much respect- 
ed there. In Cromwell's time, he was permitted to preach in 
the establishment. What became of him in the time of perse- 
cution, we do not know. 

Henry Morris was a niative of North Wales, He was a man 
of piety, talents, and education ; dpd. was brought up. an Epis- 
copalian, in Oxford College. ' He confqrmed to the established 
church, on the restoration of Charles the second ; but on a ma- 
*ture deliberation on the subject, he afterwards diss^ited from 
that cstablishmeijt, joined the Baptist denomination, and had to 
•ndure a dottbl^a portioo of sufierings. Being liberated from 

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THE -WEhSn BAPTISTS, H7 

imsoD, lie settled mrith the church at Maesyberllan, Brecknock, 
shire. He never became their paMor, but proached often there 
and elsewhere, and administered the ordinances of the gospel 
in diOerent places. 

^ In consequence of his indefatigable exertions in the Redeem- 
er's cause, and the trials which he had to ehcoupter, by reason 
of persecution, his constitution was so much injured. that ho 
died when he was about forty years old, in the year 1682, 
His walking-stick may be seen in that region, by the curious, 
to this day. . * . 

Perhaps few men understood the connection between the doc- 
trines of sovereign grace and man's obligation better than he. 
^nners are justified freely by the grace of God, through the 
redemption that is in Christ Jesus; for he was delivered for our 
ofiences, and was raised again for our justification. They are 
not only delivered from condemnation, but accepted in the Be- 
Ipved) and gicquitted.in the court of Heaven ;' not only washed 
from all their sins, but jnade kings and priests to God ; adopted . 
the chiklren of God; made heirs of God and joint heirs with 
Christ. Grace formed the plan whereby the sinner can be jus- 
tifiedy through the merits of the Mediator; and the Mediator 
opaied the way whereby mercy can be manifested 4o the sin- 
ner, agreeably to the demands of justice and the requirements 
of the law. And the sinner is und^ the greatest obligation to 
receive this glorious robe of righteousness; to repent and be- 
lieve in Christ; and to live holily, soberly j and righteously. 

There is- nothing tliat can justify any person but the good- 
ness of his cause. But except he f>roduces his testimonials, he 
stands as yet condemned. He cannot clear himself of the 
charge laid against him. Therefore a man must be justified 
by the testimony of the witnesses, as well as by the goodoess 
of his cause. The righteousness of Christ imputed to -him, 
and received* by faith, is the only thing that will make his 
cause good ; and Ms wfirks of obedience are the witnesses 
whereby he can evidence that it is so indeed. 

William Jones was brought up a Presbyterian. In Crom- 
well's time, he preached at Cilmaenllwyd ; was turned out f^K)m 
there on the restoration of Cha*les the second, and imprisoned 
in the Castle at Carmarthen. In that prison he became a Bap- 
tist in sentiment; and as soon as he was liberated, he. travelled 
to Olchon, about eighty miles distant, and was there baptized^ 
He returned to the neighborhood of Cilmaenllwyd, and told 
his religious friends what he had done, and his reasons for so 
doing; and baptized eleVon of theiti. This was the beginning 
of the Baptist church at Rhydwilim, consisting now of about 

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58 HISTO«T OF 

eight hundred members. The church was formed in the ^ear 
1668, twenty persons more were baptized, and two received 
by letter previous to the formation of the church; so that they 
^ere thirty-three in number, when the church was ibrmed. 
On the same day, William Jones and Grffith Howell becan|^ 
the pastors of the church. Their place of worship, at that, 
time, was Rushacre, the house of G. Howell. W. Jones was 
much respected, not only by his religious friends^ but also by 
the nobility, some of whom offered him a very good; living in 
the establishment; which he refused, and reasoned, with them 
HI such a manner, that they esteemed him more than ever. 
He was naturally a man of a sofl, mild, and peaceable disposi- 
tion; but the more he was pers^uted, the nnore bold and 
courageous he became, • 

Once, as he was taken to the4xrison in Haverfordwest, about 
ten miles from home, the mOst respectable noblemen in the city 
came out of their houses to meet him, to .talk with him, and. to 
invite him to their bouses. Such was bis respectability among 
them, that the king's cheers who v^ere taking him to prison, 
were &o much ashamed that they did not know how to show 
their faces. In the course pf a few days afterwards, one of 
the noblemen finding thajt he iiad an appointment in thecoun- 
try, gave bail to the jailer, and gave him his own clothes and 
horse, that he. might fulfil that appointment. The people hav- 
ing not heard of his imprisonment met together, and were quite 
surprised to see him so well dressed and riding such a good 

, horse, and on explcmation, they were full of joy and grief. 
After the meeting was Jover he returned to the prison. How 
long he was confined we have not been informed. He lived 
through tlie whole of the persecution. • Af\er it was over, he 
and G. Howell went. together to the London associatidh, to join 
their brethren there in praising Gpd for that sort of liberty 
they at that time enjoyed. They were representing that large 
and scattered church in the western part of Wales, which was 

. formed in the heat of persecution. What time he died we have 
not been informed. 

Morgan Rhydderch, or Prgthroe in English, was baptized 
at Rhydwilim in 1667., one y^ before the church was formed. 
On the 13th day of the 5th month, in 1668, the day after tho 
church was formed, he was set apart to the office of a deacon. 
On the 27th day of the 9th month, 1669, he was ordained dca- 
coij. When he began to preach we are not informed. He'was 
not an- ordained minister but an assistant preachert who had to 
endure his part of the persecution for rapre than twenty years. 
In 1662 he was orckared by the king's officers not to preach any 

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THE WELSH HAPTisra* 5& 

more, but be persevered in. the good cause ifi which he i^'as 
engaged. ^ ^ . • 

He had two sons in^ miinstry, of the names of Enoch and 
Abd, who went to America. M n Benedict, in his history of 
them, observes, that ^ their father was Morgan Rydderch, a 
famous Baptist minister in Wales. But^ was a cbmmofi thing 
in that country, for the children to take the personal naxnb 
of their father instead of the simame^ only joining to it the 
names of. their progenitors j by a string of aps;" And Mr. 
Edwards says that he had seen a Bible of his grandfather's, 
with the following title-page: " Eiddo Edward, ap William, ap 
Edward, ap Dafydd, ap Evan"— viz.: The property of Ed- 
wards,, the son of Williams, the son of Edwards, the son of 
Davis, the son of Evans. A* custom by which much property 
hasbe^n lost. • " 

Henry Williams began to preach at LJanbryninair, in tke 
year 1660: the very time the voracious wolves began to tear 
the flock of the great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, this 
under shepherd stepped forward to protect and feed tbem. He 
lived at the Scafell, near Newtown, Montgomeryshire: that 
very house is the Pilgrim Lodge to this day. Many times has 
the writer of this been kindly entertained there, by a person of 
the name of Jones and his family, . Had the name of the place 
been Stafell, (a chamber,) it might have been called indeed the 
Prophet's Chamber? for it has been, for time out of mind, the 
resting-place of almost all the ministers in Wales. Some time 
before H. Williams began to preach, he was in the habit of 
writing the sermons that he heard ; and when they were witli- 
out a preacher, he would repeat one of those sermons, and en- 
gage in prayer. .But so dreadful was the persecution, and so 
few. were the preachers, that his store of that description was 
soon exhausted ; so that he began to study the word of God, 
and to deliver to the people what he collected therefrom. He 
-was a good, gifted, and learned man, and soon became a very 
acceptable and popular preacher. 

He was imprisoned for the space of nine years.. His house 
was plundered and burnt up; and his father, an aged man who 
lived with him, was murdered by the same people who plun- 
dered and burnt the house. At all these cruel actions the 
government winked, aVid never called the murderers to an ac- 
count. But his blood speaks to this day against bloody and 
tyrannical* England. H. Williams* wife,. who was in the 
family way very near Tier time, fled for her life, with one child 
upon her back, and leading the other by the hand. One would 
think that the most hard-hearted wretch that ever existed 

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60 lysTCKY cr 

would have had compassioti upon her in this situation; but it 
was not so* One of the sbldieraAan after her to hinder her 
from crossing the river, preseritecrhis pv^tt^l at her, Bud swore 
he would shoot her brains out; but one of the officers^- whose 
heairt was not altogether so jiard, knocked the fellow do^na, and 
she made her escape o^ the river Severn. . Another time, while 
H. Williams was preaching, he was taken up; dragged out, and 
abused in such a manner and to such a degree, that he was 
left on the earth for ilead, likfe Paul in Lystra. Language is 
not able to express the su6^rings this good man had to endure. 
The siifterings of the martyrs are not worthy to be t^mpared 
with his continual torment, under the reign of that viletormen- 
ter, Charles the second. Nothing but the visible judgment of 
God upon the persecutors put an end to his suflferings.* One of 
the magistrates, who was activein thfe conspiracy iagainst him, 
died suddenly while eating his dinner. Another coming home 
drunk from Newtown, fell down*and broke his neck. Another; 
fell into the Severn and was drownedl And what is still -more 
remarkable, was the circumstance refativ© to his field of wheat, 
universally believed throughout the Principality to be a fact that 
cannot be contradicted. In the month of €Nctober, when his 
house was burnt, and all his property, his stock, and crop, and 
household furniture, forfeited, to th<5 king, nothing weis Ifeft but 
a field of wheat lately sown : no thanks for leaving that behind, 
for they could not take the seed out of the ground; That fiel(J 
of wheat yielded so much, that from its jproduce H. Williams 
was more than doubly paid for all the loss which he had sus- 
tained the preceding year. That there should be so rhaiiy 
straws gro^ving from the same root,^was a great wonder; for 
it far exceeded every thing that had been seen in that country, 
cither before or after. But that there should be so many ears, 
as two or three, growing on the same straw, was very little, if 
any^ less than a miracle. However, let it be called what it 
may, such was the case. On most of the stalks, which were' 
very numerous, there were no less than three fiill long ears of 
wheat. Sonje of them, however, had but two cars.* So visi- 
ble was the hand of God manifested here, that Henry Wil- 
liams's enemies trembled. The field is visited often to this 
day, by many from England and different parts of Wales: by 
some as a mere curiosity, and by others as a matter of grati- 
tude to that God who rules above and manages our mean 
affairs. ' • ' * . 

n^ Williams was indeed a true man, a lively preacher, 

* See Thomas's Histoiy of the Baptists in Wales, p. 136, 

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THE WELSH BAPTISTS. 61 

knd a champion in the cause of God, who suffered much for 
conscienoe' sake; who never thought of looking backward, but 
pressed forward, looking unto Jesus the Captain of salvation , 
and through that conquest once obtamed on Calvary, he is 
more than a conqueror. 

He lived on his own farm, and preached the gospel, gratis, 
until he died, in the year 1685, three years before the end of 
the persecution. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, 
their works shall follow them. 

Francis Davis was a member and an assistant preacher at 
Dolau, Radnorshire, he began to preach about the year 1661, 
and continued among them an acceptable preacher till he died, 
in the year 1690, two years after the persecution was over. 
He had a great many children: some of them went to Penn- 
sylvania, North America. He had the pleasure and the pecu- 
liar satisfaction of seeing them all making a profession of reli- 
gion, except his eldest son Nathan; He was a very wild and 
prodigal young man, who had been the means of almost break- 
ing Ins father's heart. Neither rough nor fair means would 
have any effect upon him. Though often reproved, he turned 
a deaf ear to the glorious invitations of the gospel. His aged 
father prayed oflen with him and for him, but the bars of hea- 
ven seemed to be bolted, and the young man growing worse 
and worse. At length the time came when the old man must 
die, and like old Jacob he called all his children around his dy- 
ing bed, he gave every individual of them a solemn charge, 
and appropriate advice how to' conduct themselves in the house 
of God, and in the world, and exhorted them all to conduct 
themselves in the wisest manner they possiUy could towards 
their ungodly brother, as they could expect nothing but sorrow 
from him. And without uttering one single word to his eldest 
son, he turned his face towards the partition and died. The 
father's silence in his last moments had more effect upon the 
prodigal son, than all the exhortations he had given him in his 
life. In an instant he was melted down to the ground. The 
arrows of conviction stuck fast in his heart. Tears of evange- 
lical repentance flowed from his eyes, and by faith he beheld 
the bleeding Savior extending his arms wide open to embrace 
him, and his bowels of compassion yearning over him. Turn- 
ing his face towards his aged father, he beheld the vital spark 
had gone. Nathan Davis, the old man's eldest son, made a 
profession of religion, and became a celebrated preacher of the 
gospel, and pastor of the church where his father had been a 
member. More account we may give of him hereafter. O ! 
the depth, of the wisdom, love, goodness, and mercy of our 

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62 RiflToxr OF 

God! IBs ways are past finding oat! Hb ways are in the 
seas, and his paths are in the great waters! Who is a God 
like our God? 

Thomas Powell of Maes-yr-onen, in Radnorshire, was a 
member and an occasional preacher of the church at Olchon. 
He was a very excellent physician. On that account he was 
generally known by the name of Doctor Powell. He was a 
very useful member of the church, and a great help in the time 
of persecution, about the same time as Thomas Parry. We do 
not know what time he-b^an to preach, nor when he died. 

John Gilbert was a member of the church at Olchon, and 
took his turn as a preacher. He was well received and much 
approved of in that capadty, and was very useful to thorn after 
the death of their pa!stor, Thomas Watkins. He lived at a 
]^ace called Baily-bach. In 1686 the church met at his house, 
and was their place of worship for many years after. 

Griffith Howell was baptized at RhydwiUm, on the 4th day 
of the 6th month, 1667. He was ordained co-pastor with W. 
Jones over that church, on the 13th day of the 5th month, 1668. 
It is not certain whether he was a preacher before he j<Mned the 
Baptist church or not. If not, our W^h brethren, in this case, 
have deviated from their usual custom; for they laid their hands 
on him rather suddenly. However, if that was the case, they 
had no reason to repent it; for he turned out to be one of the 
most excellent men that Wales ever produced. He was in the 
west what Thomas Parry was in the east : truly a hospitable 
man. The church met at his house for many years, their 
members residing in three different counties, and all of them made 
his house their home. He suffered much by fines and im- 
prisonment for preaching the gospel ; but notwithstanding his 
property had been so often sold, and so much under value, to 
pay those fines, he was a man of considerable property when 
he died. In his last will and testament, he left forty pounds 
towards the support of the gospel at Rhydwilim. He died in 
the year 1707, and was buried on his own farm. lie acknow- 
ledged no king in Zion but Jiesus ; for he is the King of kings, 
and the Lord of lords, who is the head of all principality and 
power; and he must reign till all his enemies are subduejl — ^till 
every knee shall bow before him, and every tongue confess his 
glory and majesty. At the time when the Baptists suffered so 
much, in consequence of the union between church and state, it 
is no wonder that Griffith Howell and others, insisted so much 
that the kingdom of Christ is not of this world ; that his sub- 
jects are spiritual characters; that the natural man receiveth 
not the things which are oi the Spirit of God; and that his 

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THK wsLsn BAmars. 63 

law is a spiritual law, which reaches not only to the words and 
actions of his subjects, but to their most secret thoughts. With 
rapture and delight he meditated on, and talked of, the happy 
period when Immanuel's kingdom shall break in pieces and coo* 
8ume all other kingdoms. When the kingdom, and the domi- 
nion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven 
shall he given to the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom 
is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and 
obey him. Yes, he looked forward over the gloomy hills oi 
darkness, when our blessed Redeemer shall have the heathen 
ibr his inh^tance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his 
possession; when the knowledge of the ^ory of Christ shall 
cover the earth as the waters cover the sea ; and when the lit- 
tle one, even the small church of Rhydwilim, shall become a 
diousand, and the small one, a strong nation; Ezekiel's stream 
shall be swimming waters; the stone cut out of {he mountain, 
shall fill the universe; Zion's tent be enlarged, and the curtain 
of her habitation stretched forth. To him the time appeared 
not far distant, when the Jews would look upon him whom they 
^roed and mourn; believe in him, and rely upon him, as the 
only Savior of lost and perishing sinners; and wkh tj^em the 
Ailness of the Gentiles coming in. The watchmoi seeing eye 
to eye, wh^ the ordinances of the gospel shall be universally 
administered according to the primitive mode. 

Thomas David Rees was brought up a Presbyterian. liv- 
ing embraced the sentiments of Uie Baptists, he was baptized, 
and jmned Landwr breach of the church, which was at Rhy<JU 
wilini) now Rehoboth, on the 10th day of the 6th month, in 
1668. He was the first who was baptized afler the church was 
fbrmed. He was ordained in that church, on the 27th day of 
the 10th m6nth, 1669. He suffered much by fine and kn* 
priacMiment. He lived at Moyddyn, in the parish of Llanarth, 
Cardiganslure. In the year 1606, a branch of the church at 
Rhydwilim was formed into a r^ular church. Thomas David 
Rees became their pastor. When this new church was formed 
their place of worship was a dwelling-house, of the name 4if 
Glancbnr. Afler they buih a meeting-house, it was called 
Pant^ — now Rehoboth. 

T. D. Rees was truly a. godly man : active and &ith&l in 
the best cause; very acci^rate, but not rigid; feivent, not fana- 
tic; rational, not phlegmatic He carefully avoided extremes, 
such as violent excitement, on the one hand, and a dull and 
formal state, on the other. He was Uioughtful and solemn^ h^t 
act gloomy; grave, but not morose; deliberate, but nevar Msb- 
tory; cautious, hut not obstinate; sedate, but not absent* H« 

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64 BI8T0BT OF 

sometime mourned, but neyer iminnQred. He bowed submis- 
sively to the providence of Grod, waited patiently his appointed 
time, and in all things committed himself to the Lord, the 
strength of his heart and his portion forever* He died in the 
year 1700, and was much lamented by all his friends. 

Joseph Price began to preach at Olchon, about the year 1681. 
He lived at Shephouse in the parish of Hay, till he moved to 
Leominister in the county of Hereford, and became a member 
of the Baptist church at that place. In 1696, he became the 
pastor of the Baptist church at Tewkesbury, where he labored 
with acceptance the remainder of his days. He often preached 
at Ross and several other places in Herefordshire. He was a 
great poet. Three of his poems have been published in Eng- 
lish: One on believer's baptism; another is a defence of tbe 
Baptist ministers, in answer to a sermon preached by an Epis- 
copalian minj^ter; the third is an elegy on the death of Timo- 
thy Thomas of Pershorc. 

He died on the 13th day of September, 1721, and was buried 
near the Baptist meeting-house at Tewkesbury, in the county 
of Gloucester. He obtained to himself a good name, and left 
a sweet savour behind him. 

John Evans was chosen pastor of the church at Wrexham, 
in 1668. He continued to preach in his own house in a secret 
manner, through the greatest part of the persecution, without 
being detected. And when he weis found out, in 1681, the 
bishop of the establishment offered him a very rich living, but 
on his refusing to accept of it, his lordship was most dreadfully 
ofiended; but John Evans made his own house his prison. 
He locked himself up, and out of there he would not and did 
not go, for a considerable time, but would preach there to as 
many as would come to hear by night, after his lordship and 
his friends had gone to rest. He was an excellent preacher all 
the days of his life. He died triumphantly in the Lord, in 
1700, aged seventy-two years* Matthew Henry attended his 
iuneral, and preached from Acts 21:14. Dr. Evans of Lon- 
don, was a son of John Evans of Wrexham. 

George John of Llangdman, was ba4>tized at Rhydwilim, on 
the 5th day of the 2d month, 1668, about three months before 
the church was formed. He was qJT a yery respectable fanrnly. 
He remembered his Creator in the days of his* youth. When 
the rest of the family were playing cards, he would be reading 
his Bible; and would rather su^r affliction with the people of 
God, than enjoy the pleasures of sin and folly. How long he 
waa in the minbtry we do not know. He died in the year 
1700, He was a member of the chuu^h thirty-two years, and 

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THE WELSH BAPTISTS. 65 

had to ^idm^ his part of the persecution. He was far from 
being a man of liberal sentiments. He measured every thing 
by itts own rule. Any thing short of that measurement, was 
with him a bar of communion. Poor man] how imperfect 
jare the cfaifdren of men, when they demand perfection from 
every one else. 

James James' was bafrtized ^ Rhydwilim, in the year 1667. 
He belonged to that branch of the church which then met for 
divine worship at Landwr — ^th^ same that now meets at Reho- 
both — under the pastoral care of Griffith Jones. He became 
co^pastor with T. D. Rees of ^at church, after it was regularly 
formed ; and labored among them all the days of his life, until 
he died in 1734. In the time of persecution, on a certain fast 
day appointed by government, no Dissenter was permitted to 
preach, let him be who he might, under the penalty of forty 
pounds sterling. The Baptists, however, met on that day to 
pray, when James James explained the object of the meeting. 
In the course of a few days the king's officers seized the man's 
property, at whose house the prayer meeting was held. The 
poor man borrowed the money, paid the forty pounds, and re- 
prieved his cattle. The case was afterwards tried, in an open 
court, at Llanpeter. After a long and warm debate between 
the lawyers and counsellors on the subject, the jurymen gave 
iheir verdict in favor of the man, and the forty pounds were re- 
turned to him on the table in court. Upon which the king's 
lawyer vehemently, and with the greatest wrath and indigna- 
tion, struck the table with his fist, /ind said, '' As long as I 
have this arm to my body, I will be against this sect." The ' 
words had no sooner dropped from his lips, than a most dread- 
ful pain seized his arm. It actually rotted from his body, in a 
short time, and he died a miserable death. 

Evan Davis was baptized and became a member of Rhydr 
wilim in 1667, and was of the Llandwr branch of the church, 
It is said that his parents were very pious people. What denor 
mination they belonged to we have not been informed, neither 
do we know when he began to preach, nor when he was orr 
dained. Once as he was preaching at Henfes in Llanllwny, 
and was about to break bread, the constables came and took 
him away to prison ; but it so turned out, that ' none of his 
enemies knew his name, and as he was not bound to give his 
name, they could do nothing but threaten him and let him go. 
He immediately returned to his congregation, and found them 
pra)ring for him, as the church ^ old did for Pet^. He^adr 
ministered thftordinance of the Lord^ supper that jBvening, late 
as it was, and all rejoiced in the God of their salvation. B^J 
6* 

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6^ HISTORY OF 

aoon afterwards, the magistrate found out his name, and com* 
mitted him to prison. One day as the magistrate was visiting 
the prisonem, he asked Evan Davis how he liked that place. 
" Very well," was the reply. " I thank God that I am in a 
place where I can pray and preach, without being molested hj, 
you, with all your spite and maljce." Evan Davis was soon 
liberated from prison, by som% means or other. About that 
time, the justice and his brother having ofiended some one thact 
was higher than therh, both of them lest their places, and said 
that it was in consequence of Evan Davis's pra3rers against 
them. "The wicked flee whei» no man pursueth." Evaa 
Davis having suffered much ii| the best cause, for more than 
twenty years, died in the year 1707. 

. John Jenkins was baptized and became a member of the 
church at Rhydwilim, in the year 1667. He was pastor of 
that church for many years, and was one of those who came 
out of the great tribulation in 1669. He had a public debate 
with John Thomas, on the ordinance of baptism ; in conse- 
quence of which a great many of the Independents were bap- 
tized and joined the church. lie died in full hope of a- glorious 
immortality, in the year 1733, aged 77. 

Thus died John Jenkins, pastor of the Baptist church at 
Rhydwilim, a man of great talents, bright genius, -and most 
wonderful activity. Before he was converted, he was remark- 
ably wild, much given to drink, and one of the greatest pugil- 
ists in the region where he lived ; but after his conversion to 
God, he became as noted a peace-maker, as he had been 
quarrelsome before. The agreeablencss of his conversation, 
the fervor of his zeal, and the unweariedness of his diligence, 
were such, as to distinguish and ennoble his character. True 
piety reflected a lustre on his natural and ministerial gifts, that 
qualified him to be useful in his own house and .in the house of 
God. He was a man of most tender conscience, most catho- 
lic spirit, and most benevolent heart. With regard to his suc- 
cess in the ministry, it was by no mtvms inconsiderable. In his 
life-time he baptized a great many. The whole of his ministry 
exhibited a singular display of the power of divine grace among 
the ancient Britons. Deeply impressed with the necessity of 
the influence of the Holy Spirit for the conversion of sinners,, 
he combing most earnest prayer with his most active endea- 
vors, and ascribed all the glory to God, whose prerogative it 
is to speak so that the dead may hear his voice and live for- 
ev** Sometinies he would be greatly oppressed with^ sense 
of his own guilt and depravity, and at other times he seemed 
to be wttli Moses on the ipount. He longed to be as a flame 

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THIC WELSH BAPTISTS. 6T 

of fire, continually glowing in the service of his dear Re- 
cieeiner* ' 

Samiiel Jcmes was bom on the 9th day of Joly, 1657, in the- 
parish of Llanddewy, and the county of Radnor, South Wales*. 
He was baptized and received a member of the Baptist 
church at Dolau, in the above county, during the time of perse* 
cution xin(kr Charles the second. He was a man of piety, and 
firmly and understandingly established in Baptist principles. 
By reason of most cruel J3ersecution at home, Samuel Jones, 
John Eaton, Geome Eaton and Jane his wife, and Sarah Eaton^ 
all members of the church at Dolau, with their familiesi, and 
other friends and relatives, went to America in the year 1686, 
two years before the end of the persecution in Wales,, and set- 
tled on the banks of Penepeck, Pennsylvania. John Baker, a 
member of the Baptist church at Kilkenny, Ireland, and Samuel 
Vans, a member of a Baptist church in England, also arrived 
and settled with them. 

In the year 1687, Rev* Elias Keach, son of the celebrated 
Benjamin Keach of London came among them, preached the 
gospel unto them, and baptized Joseph Ashton and Jane his. 
wife, William Fisher, and John Watts. . These persons, by 
mutual consent, formed themselves into a church, in the month 
of January, 1688; choosing Mr. Keach to be their minister^ 
and Samuel Vans, deacon. Soon afler, the few emigrated 
Baptists in Pennsylvania and West Jersey, and those whom 
Elias Keach baptized at the Falls, Coldspring, Burlington,. 
Cohansey, Salem, Perm's Neck, Chester, and Philadelphia, 
joined them. They were all one church, and Penepeck the 
centre of union, where as many as could met to celebrate- 
Christ's death; and for the sake of distant members, they 
administered the ordinanc0 quarterly, at Burlington, Cohansey,. 
Chester, and Philadelphia: which quarterly meetings have since 
been transformed into three yearly meetings, and an associa^ 
tion. Thus, for some time, continued their Zion with length-, 
ened cords, till the brethren in remote parts, set about forming 
themselves into distinct churches, which began in 1699. By 
these detachments, Penepeck was reduced to narrow' bounds,, 
but yet abides among the churohea, as a mother in the midst of 
many daughters. As Elias* Keaqh did not settle long enough 
among them, John Watts, one of the members of the church, 
was ordained their pastor in 1690, an:i soon afler died of smalU 
pox. In 1697, Samuel Jones was called to the work of the 
ministry. He was ordained and took part in the ministry mth 
Evan Morgan, on the 23d of October, 1706w He died Febru-. 
ary 3d, 172^, and was buried at Penepeck. The ground on 

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68 HISTORY OF 

which the meeting house stands was given by him. He also 
gave for the use of the church — Poole's Annotations, 2 vols. ; 
Burkit's Annotations, 1 vol.;^ Ketich on the Parables; and 
Bishop's Body of Divinity. Though he had left the Princi- 
pality for many years, and was only a member of the church 
when he left there; yet his name is well known in Wales at 
the present day, owing chie/ly perhc^ps to the regular corres- 
pondence he kept up with several ministers in this region, par- 
ticularly Nathan Davis and Caleb Evans. Some of these let- 
ters are published in Welsh.* 

Evan Morgan was a man of piety, parts, and prudence. He 
was a native of Wejes, but went to Ameri9a when young, and 
joined the Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers, broke 
off from them along with many others of Keith's party in 1691. 
He was baptized in 1697, by Thomas Rutter, and the same 
year, renouncing the reliques of Quakerism^ was received a 
member of the church at Penepeck. In 1702 he was called to 
the ministry. He was ordained on the 23d of October, 1706, 
by Messrs. Thomas Griffiths and Thomas Killingworth. * He 
died on the 16th of February, 1709, and. was buried at Pene- 
peck, after having bad the joint care of the church for upwards 
of two years.f 

Abel Morgan was a member of the Glandwr branch of 
Rhydwilim, now Rehoboth. . At the age of nineteen he begai) 
to preach the everlasting gospel. Soon afterwards he moved 
to Monmouthshire, "and became a member of Llanwenarth. 
He was ordained and became the pastor of the jchurch at 
Blaenaugwent, iii 1696. He was very well received and much 
respected by the church and congregation there, as well as 
many othei; places throughout the Principality. 

On the 23d day of August, 1711, when it was known that 
he was determined to go to America, where many of his coun- 
trymen, relatives, and religious friends, had gone before him, 
the church held a special meeting,, as he had been so useful 
among them, and so much esteemed by them for a long time. 
It is said that it was one of the most melting, interesting, and 
affecting meeting, that was ever held. To part with such a 
celebrated minister, when? they loved so dearly, having no ex- 
pectation of ever seeing his face, nor hearing his voice any paore 
on earth, was almost more than their feelings could bear. But 
the Western Macedonian cry, *< CJome over and help us," pre- 
dominated. However, on the day of the meeting, several reso- 

* See Thomas's Histoiy, and Morgan Edwards's Materials, p. 6, 
t S«e Morgan Edwards's MaterialSf .vol 1, p. 12. 

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THB WfiLSH BAPTISTS. 69 

lotions wcr6 prapoaed by hkn, which were seconded and passed 
without a dissenting voice: such as, that William Philips, a 
member and assistant preacher, should be appointed to preach 
regularly to the church as a probcitioner, to become their pas- 
tor; and many other things too tedious now to be enumerated. 
In parting hegave the church a charge, 

1. That they should never grieve their ministers, who should 
Ubor among them in word and doctrine, but cheerfully to 
assbt them m temporal things, as well as in any difficulty 
which might occur in the^exercise of discipline, or the important 
work of the ministry. 

2. That they should love one another. ♦ Not forsaking the 
assembling of themselves together, as. the manner of some is; 
but to exhort one another to stand fast in one spirit, with one 
mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. 

3. That they should encourage all who might have any pro- 
mising gifls for the ministry. . 

His last address is left on record in the church book, for the 
benefit of the rising generation. Soon afterwards he took his 
fanjily over to Bristol, and on the 28th of September they em- 
barked for America. The next day the wind being contrary, 
Qnd the ship exceedingly tossed with the tempest, they turned 
in to Milford haven, where they were detained three weeks. 
And when they sailed from that place, they were driven by the 
tempestuous winds to Cork, in Ireland, where they were obliged 
to stay five weeks, in very uncomfortable circumstances, as 
most of the passengers were unwell. From there, howe\^r, 
they all sailed on the 19th of November. On the 14th of De- . 
cember, Abel Morgan's little boy died, and on the 17th of the 
same montli, his dearly beloved wife breathed her last, and 
both of them were committed to the 'deep. This was to him a 
severe trial, indeed. But the Lord gave and he had an undis- 
puted right to take away, and to say to the work of his hand, 
" Be still, and know that I am God." He was eleven weeks 
on the Atlantic ocean, in the depth of winter. He was in the 
vessel which sailed from Btistol to Philadelphia, no less than 
twenty-two weeks. Morgan Edwards informs us, that he was 
bom at Allt Goch, in the parish of Llanwenog, coiraty of Car 
marthen, in 1637. He arrived in America on the 14th of 
February, 1711. He resided some time at Philadelphia, and 
then removed to Fem^k. He took on him the care of the 
church, as soon as helnnded, and continued in that trust until his 
death, which came to pass December 16,1 722 . He was buried 
in the grave-yard of Philadelphia, where a stone is erected to 
his memory. Mr. Morgan was a man of considerable distinc* 

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70 IU8TOKY or 

tion. He compiled a folio concordance to the Welsh Bible, 
which was printed at Philadelphia in 1790^ He also translated 
the Century Confession into Welsh, and added thereunto arti- 
cles twenty-three and thirty-one.* 

Morgan Edwards and David Benedict, we think, were mis- 
taken respecting the year in which Abel Morgan was bom. It 
is not likely that he was born in 1637, when his brother Enoch, 
of the same father and mother, %was born in 1676; and his 
brother Benjamin Griffith, of the same mother though not of 
the same father, was born in 1688. 

Richard Williams began to preach at Rhydwilim, about the 
year 1681. He was ordained about the year 1687. He be- 
came the pastor of the church at Maesyberilan, in 1700. He 
was a godly man, and a very etoceptable preacher, whose influ- 
ence in the associations was considerable. He was active and 
diluent ,in the impor|ant work in which he was engaged, and 
suffered much in the cause of Christ; for he was one of those 
ministers that came out of great tribulation in 1688. Having 
adorned the profession which he had made, he tJied in the year 
1724. 

John Davis was a member of the church at Rhydwilim, and 
began to preach about the year 1681. He was the son of a 
rich man in the world; but most wonderfully displeased his 
fether when he became a Baptist. And as he ma/ried cme of ' 
the members of the church, the old man thought fit to disinherit 
him ; so that he and his wife had their share of poverty as long 
as he lived. However, Mr. John Evans of Llwyndwr, out of 
respect to him, was so liberal to his widow and his fatherless 
children, that they wanted nothing which this world could af- 
ford. Though he was poor in the world, yet he was rich in 
grace and ripened for glory. He never was ordained, but was 
a good and faithful preacher. He finished his course in the 
y^r 1700. His children and grand-children, from time to 
time, have been eminent members, and some of them deacons 
of Baptist churches in that region to the present day. 

Samuel John was a meml»er of the church at Rhydwilim, 
and began to preach about the year 1682. He was ordained 
about the year 1605, and became pastor of the church of Cil- 
fowyr in the year 1704. He died in the year 1736, aged 80 
years, and was buried in the burying-ground belonging to CSl- 
fbwyr. He had a very peculiar way of expressing himself in 
short and pathetic sentences, which never were forgotten by the 
most of his hearers as long as they lived. His peculiar turn 

* Ifoi^Kta Edwaids's MateiiAls, p. 14. 

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THE WBL8H BAPTISTS. 71 

of mind and mode ofexpressionj wa^ something similar to that 
of Daniel Bui^ess, of London, >vhich would amuse, convince, 
rebuke, and comfort his hearers, at the same time. Here we 
must take notice of one of his members : dn^ of the most useful, 
active, and zealous men that ever Wales produced. His name 
was John Philips, of Ctk»un, in the parish of Eglwyswen, (or« 
Whitechurch in English,) county of Pembroke, South Wales. 
He was not only the first man that advocated the Baptist prin- 
cipl» in this region, but was the means bf bringing the Baptist 
ministers to these parts: At his house they first preached; at 
his house, also, the church wm first formed, and met to worship 
God and to receive the ordinances of the New Testament, for 
many y^ars, until the meethig house at Cilfowyr was built in 
1716. 

The first Baptists in this part of the world were Lelice Mor- 
gan, Margaret Nicholas, and the said John Philips. He was 
brought up a Presbyterian, and was a member of the Presbyte- 
rian church, whereof John Thomas was pastor; but on examin- 
ing the Scriptures, after the most mature deliberation, he was 
convinced that Infant baptism could not be found in the Bible, 
and consequently that it did not come from Heaven but 'from 
Rome. But as he was a good man, and a very respectable 
man in the world, the Presbyterians were very unwilling for 
him to become a Baptist. They invited him to come before 
the church, that they would satisfy his mind on that subject; to 
which he consented, and the day was appointed; but he sent 
for Gieorge John, a Baptist minister of Rhydwilim, to go with 
him to meet the Presbyterian church and their pastor John 
Thomas. On the appointed day they all met at a place called 
Castell-maelgwyn. Having had a long conversation on the 
subject, and s(!ein^ that John Philips was not yet convinced 
of the propriety c? Itifant baptism, the Presbyterian minister 
proposed that he would preach on the subject, and that J. Phi- 
lips should choose any Baptist minister to preach, and to hold 
a public debate, on the subject of baptism. The place and time 
were then appointed. Thousands of people met. Two ser- 
mons were preached : the first by J. Thomas, the second by 
J. Jenkins, on the same text — ^the commission of Christ to his 
apostles. The consequence was, that John Phijips and a great 
many of the Presbyterians were baptized on the 18th day of 
the 4th month, 1692; and several more of their fellow mem- 
hers were baptized soon after. 

Thomas, the Welsh historian, informs us, that John Philips 
went to America, and that if ever he should see the History of 

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72 HISTORY OF 

the Baptists in America, by Morgan Edwards, he hbped to see 
gome farther account of John Philips. 

On examining Morgan Edwards's History of the American 
Baptists, among the members of the Great Valley church, near 
Philadelphia, we find the name of John Philips, who bequeathed 
the sura of fifty pounds towards the su][^rt of the cause in that 
place. We are inclined to believe him to be the said John 
Philips, of Cilcam, and a relation of the celebrated David Phi- 
lips» pastor of the Baptist church at Peter's Creek, Washington 
county, Pennsylvania. We know that David Philips was bom 
in the parish of Eglwyswen, Pembrokeshire, and arrived in 
Pennsylvania: more of him hereafter. 

Thomas Griffiths was born in 1645, in the parish of Llalifer* 
nach, county of Pembroke. He was baptized and became a mem* 
ber of the church at Rhydwilim, in 1677. He resided at that 
time in the parish of Melinau. He began to preach about the 
year 1683, and had to sufier his part' of the dreadful persecu- 
tion under Charles the second, for the space of eleven years. 
At first, the subjects of his preaching were the perfections of 
the Ddty, the beauty of creation, and man's depravity and 
moral obligation: subjects which, however excellent in them- 
selves, and however well mananged, are, nevertheless, not 
calculated to awaken the careless sinner from a state of carnal 
stupidity, any more than the thunders of Sinai and the damna- 
tion of hell. But when he directed the attention of his hearers 
to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world— to 
the incarnation, life, sufferings, and death of Christ — ^his tri- 
gmphant victory over the powers of hell, and his glorious re- 
surrection from the grave — he often found himself so impressed, 
his heart so much warmed and animated, attended with corres- 
pondent effects on his hearers, that the Spirit of God seemed to 
have descended with such astonishing energy, as to overpower 
all opposition, like a mighty torrent sweeping before it whatever 
comes in its way with irresistible force. In the year 1701, he 
and fifteen of the members of the church went to America in 
the same vessel. They formed themselves into a church at 
Milford, in the county of Pembroke, South Wales, and Thorhas 
Griffiths became their pastor in the month of June, 1701. 
They embarked on board the ship James and Mary, and on 
the 8th day of September following, they landed at Philadel- 
phia. The brethren there treated them courteously, and ad- 
vised them to settle about Peoepeck. Thither they went, and 
there continued about a year and a half. During that time 
twenty-one persons joined them, but finding it inconvenient to 

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THX WBLBK BAPTISTS. 73 

abide there, tfaey purchased land in the county of ^wcastle, 
and gave it the name of Welsh-tract, where tl^y btiilt a meet* 
ing-house, and Thomas Gri0iths labored ieufnong them as their 
pastor, till he died on the 25th of July, 1726, aged 80 years. 
He was buried at P^fiepeck. 

Reynold Howell, in a letter to Miles Harris, dated 1752, 
states, " that the Baptist church at Welsh*tract, under -the pas- 
toral care of Thomas Griffiths, was the first regularly formed 
church in the state of Pennsylvania." In a letter from Samuel 
Jones to Caleb Evans, dated 1713, we are informed, "that T. 
Griffiths was of almost infinite service to the cause of Christ in 
that r^on, notwithstanding that he was not a man of popular 
talents.'* Of the fi^eea that went over with him, two of them 
at least came up out of the fiery furnace of persecution : Grif- 
fith Nicholas and Jennet Davis. 

The following account of David Thomas and Morgan Ed- 
wards, is taken from Benedict's History of the Baptist Deno- 
mination in America: • 

" David Thomas, who had oflen visited the state before, in 
his evangelical excursions, now removed from Pennsylvania, and 
became a resident in Virginia, where he acted a niost distinguish- 
ed part for thirty years; when he removed to Kentucky, where 
he was living, but almost blind, in 1809. As this eminent ser- 
vant of GU>d has doubtless ere now gone to his rest, and ^an 
therefore be but little afl^ted by the praises or censures of men, 
we shall take the liberty of saying more about him in the , 
foUowmg narrative, than we generally int^id to say of the 
living. 

David Thomas was born August 16, 1732, at Loudon Tract, 
Pennsylvania, and had his education at Hfopewell, New Jersey, 
under the famous* Isaac Eaton, and so considerable were his 
literary acquirements, that the Rhode Island College, (now 
Brown University,) conferred on him the degree of Master of 
Arts. 

David Thomas made his first stand in Virginia, in Berkley 
county, with, or in the neighborhood of the Opeckon or Mill- 
creek church ; bat in 1762, he removed to the county of Fau- 
quier, and became the pastor of the'Broadrun church, which 
was gathered socm afler he removed to the place. 

T}^ origin of the Broadrun church, and the manner in which 
Dayid Thomas was introduced among them, are related as fol- 
lows: A short time previous to* his removing to Virginia, two 
ima in this region, without any public preaching, became much 

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74 mSTOJIY OF 

concerned about their soi^ and eternal things, were convinced 
of the reality of vital religion, and that they were destitute of 
it. While laboring under these convictions, they heard of the 
Baptists, (New-Lights, as some called them,) in Berkley coun- 
ty, and set out in search of them ; and after travelling about 
sixty miles over a rough and mountainous way, they arrived 
among^^ them, and by their preaching and conversation were 
much enlightened and comforted, and were so happy as to find 
wheit had hitherto to them been mysterious, how a weary and 
heavy-laden sinner might have rest. The name of one of these 
men was Peter Corn well, who afterwards lived to a good old 
age, and was so eminent for his piety, as to receive from his 
neighbors and acquaintances, the title of ' Saint Peter.*^ It is 
related by Mr. Edwards, *that this Peter Corn well induced 
Edmund Hay^, (the same man who removed frc^n Maryland to 
Virginia, in 1743,) to remove and settle near him, and that in- 
terviews between the families of these two men were frequ^it, 
and their conversation religious and devout ; insomuch that it 
soon began to be talked of abroad as a very strange thing. 
Many came to see them, to whom they related what God bad 
done for their soub, exhorted, prayed, and read the Bible, and 
other good books, to the spreading of seriousness through the 
whole neighborhood.' Cornwell and his companion, (whose 
name is not mentioned,) in a short time made a second visit to 
Berkley, and were baptized; and Divine Providence had so 
ordered matters, that in this visit they met with David Thomas, 
whom they invited to go down and preach amongst them. He 
accepted the invitation, and settled with them, as before related, 
and soon became the instrument of diffusing gospel light in 
Fauquier and the adjacent counties, where ignorance and super- 
stition had long prevailed. 

David Thomas is said to have been a minister of great dis- 
tinction in the prime of his days; for beside The natural endow- 
ments of a strong and vigorous mind, and the advantages of a 
classical and refined education, he had a melodious and pierc- 
ing voice, pathetic address, expressive action, and, above all, a 
heart filled with love to God and his fellow men, whom he saw 
overwhelmed in sin and misery. But for a few of the first 
years of his ministry in Virginia, he met with much rustic per- 
secution from the rude inhabitants, who, as a satirical historian 
observes, * had not wit enough to sia in a genteel manner.'f 

Outrageous mobs and individuals frequently assaulted and 
disturbed hini. Once he was pulled down as he was preach- 

* Fristoe^s Hist, of the Ketocktoo Aaeo. p. 100. t Mori^im Edwaids. 

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THB WBLSH BAPTISTS. 75 

ing, and dragged out of doors in a barbarous manner. At an- 
other thne a malevolent fellow attempted to shoot him, but a 
bystander wrenched the gun from him, and thereby prevented 
the execution of his widced purpose. * The slanders and re- 
vilings,* says Mr. Edwards, '^ which he met with, are innume- 
rable; and if we may judge of a man's prevalency against the 
devil, by the rage of the devilV children, Thomas prevailed 
Hke a prince.' But the gospel flourished and prevailed ; and 
JBroadrun church, of which he was pastor, in the* course of six 
or eight years from its establishment, branched out, and became 
the mother^f five or six others. The Chappawomsick church 
was constituted from that at Broadrun, m 1766. The Baptists 
in this church met with the most violent opposition. One Ro- 
bert Ashly and his gang, (consisting of about forty,) combined 
against them, with the most determined and envenomed hos- 
tility. Once they came to harass them at thjir worship, and 
entered the house with violence f but some stout fellows, not 
able to bear the insult^ took Ashly by the neck and heels, and 
threw him out of doors. This infernal conspiracy continued 
to vent their rage against the Baptists, by throwing a live snake 
into the midst of them at one time^ and a hornet's nest .at an- 
other, while they were at worship; and at another time they 
brought fire-arms to disperse them. But Ashly dying, soon 
after, in a miserable manner, struck a damp on their mischiev- 
ous designs, and procured quietness for a while to the poor suf- 
ferers, whom the civil powers lefl to the mercy, or rather to 
the ra'ge and insolence of such an infuriated banditti. 

But to return to Mr. Thomas. He travelled much, and the 
fame of his preaching dfew the attention of people throughout 
an extensive circle; and they travelled, in many instances, fifty 
and sixty miles to hear him. It is remarkable, that about this 
time, there were multiplied instances, in different parts of Vir- 
ginia, of persons, who had never heard of any thing like evan- 
gelical preaching, who were brought, through divine grace, to 
see and feel their want of vital godliness. Many of these per- 
sons, when they heard Mr. Thomas and other Baptist preach- 
ers, would travel great distances to hear •them, and to procure 
their services in their own neighborhoods. By this meealS, the 
gospel was first carried into the county of Culpepper. . Allen 
Wyley, a man of respectable standing in that county, had been 
thus turned to God; and not knowing of any spiritual preacher, 
he had, sometimes gathered his neighbors, and read the Scrip- 
tures, and exhorted them to repentance; but hearing, after a 
while, of Mr. Thomas, he and some of his neighbors travelled 
to Fauquier to hear him. As soon as he heard him, he knew 

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76 Htoromr op 

the joyful'sound, submitted to baptism^ and inYited him to preach 
at lu8 bouse. He came; but the oppoeiticm from the wicked 
was 80 great that he could not preach. He wait into the 
county 0^ Orange, and preached several times, and to much 
purpose. Having, however, urgent calls to preach in various 
other places, and being much 0];^x)sed and persecuted, he did 
net attend here as oflen as was wished. On this account it 
was, that Mr. Wyley went to Pittsylvania, to procure the labors 
of Samud Harris. David Thomas and Mr. Garrard, scone- 
times together and sometimes apart, travelled and' propagated 
the pure principles of Christianity in all the uppei*counties of 
the Northern Neck ; but Mr. Thomas was far the most active. 

The priests and friends of the establishment, viewed with a 
jealous eye Uiese successful exertions of the Baptists, and 
adopted various methods to embarrass and defeat them. The 
clergy oflen attacked the preachers from the pulpit; culled 
them false prophets, wolves' in sheep's clothing, and many 
other hard names equally unapprbpriate and slanderous. But 
unfortunately for them, the Baptists retorted these charges, by 
professing to believe their own articles ; at least, the leading 
ones, and charged them with denying them; a charge which 
they could easily substantiate: for the doctrines most com- 
plained of, as advanced by the Baptists, were obviously laid 
down in the common prayer-book. 

When they could not succeed by arguments, they adopted 
more violent measures. Sometimes the preachers, and even 
some who only read sermons and prayed publicly, wer6 car- 
ried before magistrates, and though not committed to prison, 
were sharply reprimanded, and cautioned not to be righteous 
overmuch. 

In two instances only, does it appear, that any person in 
these parts, was actually imprisoned on account of religion, al- 
though they suffered much abuse and persecution from out- 
rageous mobs and malicious individuals. The one, it seems, 
was a licensed es^orter, and was arrested for exhorting at a 
licensed meeting-house. The magistrate sent him to jail, where 
he was. kept until court; but the court, upon knowing the cir- 
cumstances, discharged him. The other was James Ireland, 
who was imprisonend in Culpepper jail, and in other respects 
treated very ill. At the time of his imprisonment, Mr. Ireland 
was a Separate Baptist, but he aflewaids joined the Regulars. 
The reasons why the Regular Baptists were not so much per- 
secuted as the Separates, was, that they had, at an early date, 
applied to the general court, and obtained licenses for particular ; 
places of preaching, under the tderation law of England ; but 

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THB WBLSH BAPTX8T8. T7 

few of their enemies knew the extent of these licenses; most 
supposing, that they were by them, authorized to preach any 
where in the county. 

The Regulars were ccmsidered less enthusiastic than the Se- 
parates. They were frequently visited by a number of eminent 
and influential ministers from the Philadelphia Association, and 
they also had at their head, the learned and eloquent David 
Thomas, who, after stemming the torrent of prejudices and op- 
position for a few years, acquired an extensive fame and great 
weight of character, even in the eyes of his enemies ; and was 
the means 'of procuring a degree of quietude and respectability 
for his reproached and persecuted brethren. But in the most 
persecuting times, the Baptist cause still flourished, and the 
work of grace progressed. New churches were constituted, 
and young preachers were raised up. Daniel and William 
Fristoe, Jeremiah Moore, and others, were early fruits of Elder 
Thomas's ministry. These young heralds, uniting their en- 
deavors with those of the more experienced, became zealous 
laborers in the vineyard of the Lord. 

Morgan Edwards, A. M. The following biographical sketch 
of this truly eminent man, and distinguished promoter of the 
Baptist cause in America, was drawn by Dr. William Rogers, 
of Philadelphia, in a sermon preached at his funeral, and by 
him communicated to Dr. Rippon, of London, who published 
it in the 12th No. of his Annual Register, from which it is 
now extracted. The sermon, which for some cause was not 
printed, was preached in the First Baptist Church in Philc^del- 
phia, February 22,. 1795, on 2 Cor. 6:8: ' By honor and dis- 
honor; by evU report and good report; as deceivers and yet 
true.' 

* Morgan Edwards was bom in TreVethin parish, Monmouth- 
shire, in the Principality of Wales, on May 9th, 1722, old style, 
and had his grammar learning in the same parish, at a village 
called Trosnat; afterwards he was placed in the Baptist semi'> 
nary at Bristol, in Old England, at the time the president's 
chair was filled by the Rev. Mr. Foskett. He entered on the 
ministry in the sixteenth year of his age. After he had finished 
his academical studies, he went to Boston, in Lincolnshire, 
where he continued seven years, preaching the gospel to a 
small congregation in that town. From B^ton, he removed 
to Cork, in Ireland, where he was ordained, June 1, 1757, and 
resided nine years. From Cork he returned to Great Britain, 
aad preached about twelve months at Rye, in Sussex. yVhile 
at Rye, the Rev. Dr. Gill, and other London ministers, in pur- 
suance of letters which they received from this churchy (FhiUiy 
7* . 

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T8 HivrotT «r 

delphia,) urged him to pay you a visit* He complied, took hii 
passage for America, arrived here May 23, 1761, and shortly 
aflerwards became your i^i^or. He had the oversight of thit 
church for many years;' voluntarily resigned his office^ when 
ke found the cause, which was so near and dear to his heart, 
sinking under his hand^; but continued preaching to the peo- 
ple, till they obtained another minister, the person nvho dov 
addresses you, in procuring whom bo was not inactive. 

* Afler this, Mr. Edwards purchased a plantation in New- 
ark, Newcastle county, state of Delaware, and moved thither 
with his family in the year 1772; he continued preaching the 
word of life and salvation in a number of vacant churches, till 
the commencement of the American war. He then desisted, 
and remained silent, till afler the termination of our revolutioo- 
ary troubles, and a consequent reconciliation with this church. 
He then occasionally read lectures in divinity, in this city, and 
other parts of Pennsylvania; also, in New Jersey, Delaware, 
and New England; but for very particular and af^ting rea- 
sons could never be prevailed upon to resume the sacred char- 
acter of a minister. 

* Gur worthy friend departed this life, at Pencadcr, New- 
castle county, Delaware state, on Wednesday the 28th day of 
January, 1795, in the 73d year of his age; and waa buried, 
agreeably to his own desire, in the aisle of this meeting-house, 
with his first wife and their children ; her maiden name wa» 
Mary Nunn, originally of Cork, in Ireland, by whom he bad 
s^V^ral children, all of whom are dead, excepting two sods, 
William and Joshua; the first, if alive, is a military officer io 
tne British service; the other is now present with us, paying 
this last public tribute of filial aflection to the memory of a fond 
and pious parent. Mr. Edwards's second wife was a Mrs. Sin- 
gleton, of the state of Delaware, who is also dead, by whom he 
had no issue. 

* Several of Mr. Edwards's pieces have appeared in pritof, 
viz. 1. A Farewell Discourse, delivered at the Baptist meeting- 
house, in Rye, February 8, 1761, on Acts 20:26,26. Aid 

fwu>j behold^ I know that ye ally among whom I have gone 
preaching the kingdom of God, ^ktll see my face no more : 
wherefore J I take you to record this day^ that lam ptirejrom 

* It 18 said, that the cburck in Philadelphia, aent to Dr. Gill, of Looda% to 
mmtii them in obtaining a pastor; but that ther required so many aceoaipRib- 
meats to be united in hun^ that the Dr. wrote ^em t>ack, that he did not kaom 
that be could find a man in England who would answer their deacripiioD ; ip- 
,fonninfftfaem, at the same time, that Morgan Bdjtpards, who was then prMKr 
infiin Ry&ia tfaa oowity ^Sussex, came lbs lieafetC of any ona who e«iil 
be obtained. 

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THB WBL0H BAPTISTi. * 79 

the hiood tfall men. This passed tbrou^ two editions, 8ro. 

2. A Sermon |>reached in the College of Philadelphia, at the 
(M^nation of Rev. Samuel Jones, (now D. D.,) with a narra« 
tive of the manner in which the ordination was conducted, Svo. 

3. The Customs of Primitive Churches, or a set of Proposi- 
tions relative to the Name, Materials, Constitution, Powers, 
Oflioers, Ordinances, ^•, of a Church ; to whicli. are added, 
their proofb from Scripture, and historical narratives of the man- 
ner in which most of them have been reduced to practice, 4ta. 
This hook wa^ intended for the Philadelphian Association, in 
hopes they would have improved on the plan, so that their joint 
productions might have introduced a full and unexceptionaWo 
treatise of Church Discipline. 4. A New- Year's Gift; a Ser» 
nKMi preached in this house, January 1, 1770, from these 
words. This year thou shalt die; which passed through four 
editions. What gave rise to this discourse will probably be 
recollect^ for many years to come. 5. Materials towards a 
History of the Baptists in Pennsylvania, both British and Ger- 
man, <Ustinguished into First-day, Keithian, Seventh-day, Tun- 
ker, and Rogerene Baptists, 12mo. 1792. The motto of both 
volomes is, Loi a people that dtoell aloncy and shall not he 
redeoned among the nations. 6. A Treatise on the Millenni- 
um. 7. A Treatise on the New Heaven and New Earth: this 
was re-printed in London. 8. Res Sacra, a Translation from 
the Latin. The subject of this piede is an enumeration of all 
the acts of public worship, which the New Testament styles 
ofierkigs and sacrifices ; among which, giving mmiey for reli- 
gious uses is one; and therefore, £KXx»rding to Mr. Edwards's 
o{»nion, is to be done in the places of public worship, and with 
equal devotion. 

* Beside wiiat he gave to his intimate friends as tokens of per- 
sonal regard, he has left behind him forty-two volumes of ser- 
mons, twelve sermons to a volume, all written in a lar^ print 
hand; also about a dozen volumes in quarto, on special sub* 
jects, in some of which he was respondent, and therefore they 
may not contain his own real sentiments. These, with many 
other things. Unite to show that he was no idler. 

* He used to recommend it to ministers to write their sernxms 
at lar^, but not to read them in the pulpit; if he did, he ad- 
vised the preacher to write a large, fair hand, and make him- 
self so much master of his subject, that a glance might take in 
a whole page. Being a good classic, and a man of refinement^ 
he was vexed with such discourses from the )>ublic as deserved 
no attention, and much more to hear barbarisms ; because, as 
ht ttsed to say, **11iey i^^ere arguments «ther of Taniiy or in* 

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80 HISTORY OF 

d(dence, or bo^; for an American^ with an English grammar 
in his hand, a learned friend at his elbow^ and close application 
for mx months, might make himself master of his mother 
tongue." 

* The Baptist churches are much indebted to Mr. Edwards. 
They will long remember the time and talents he devpted to 
their best interests, both in Europe and America. Very far 
was he from being a selfish person. When the arrears of his 
salary, as pastor of this church, amounted to upwards of £372, 
and he was put in possession of a house, by the church, tilL the 
principal and interest should be paid, he resigned the house, 
and relinquished a great part of the debt, lest the church 
should be distressed. 

' The College of Rhode Island is also greatly beholden to 
him for his vigorous exertions at home and abroad, in raising 
money for that institution, and for his particular activity in 
procuring its charter. This he deemed the greatest service he 
ever did for the honor of the Baptist name. As one of its first 
sons, I cheerfully make this testimony, of his laudable and well- 
timed zeal. 

* In the first volume of his Materials, he proposed a plan for 
uniting all the Baptists on the Continent in one body politic, by 
having the Association of Philadelphia, (the centre,) incorpo- 
rated by charter, and by taking one delegate out of each asso- 
ciation into the corporation; but finding this impracticable at 
that time, he visited the churches from New Hampshire to 
Georgia, gathering materials towards the history of the whole. 
Permit me to add, that this plan of union, as yet, has not sue- 
.ceeded. 

< Mr. Edwards was the moving cause of having the minutes 
of the Philadelphia Association printed, which he could not 
bring to bear for some years; and therefore, at his own expense, 
he printed tables, exhibiting the original and annual state of the 
associating churches. 

* There was nothing uncommon in Mr. Edwards's person ; 
but he possessed an original genius. By his travels in- Eng- 
land, Ireland, and America, commixing with all sorts of peo- 
ple, and by close application to reading, he had attained a re- 
markable ease of behavior in company, and was furnished with 
something pleasant or informing to say on all occasions. His 
Greek Testament was his favorite companion, of which he was 
a complete master; his Hebrew Bible next, but he was not so 
well versed in the Hebrew as in the Greek language; however, 
he knew so much of both as authorized him to say, as he oflen 
4id, that the Greek and Hel^rew are the two eyes of a minister. 

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THK IVELSd BAYTI8T8. 81 

and the translations are but eommentaries; because they vary 
in sense as commentators do. He preferred the ancient British 
version above any other version that he had read; observing 
that the idioms of the Welsh fitted those of the Hebrew and 
Greek, like hand and glove. 

* Our aged and respectable friend is gone the way of all the 
earth ; but he lived to a good old age, and with the utmost com- 
posure closed his eyes on all the things of time. Though ho 
is gone, this is not gone with him; it remains with -us, that the 
Baptist interest was ever uppermost with him, and that he la- 
bored more to promote it, than to promote his own ; and this 
he did, because he believed it to be the interest of Christ above 
any in Christendom. His becoming a Baptist wa? the effect 
of previous examination and conviction, having been brought 
up in the Episcopal church, for which church he retained a 
particular regard during his whole life.' " 



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82 HI8T0KY OF 



WELSH CHURCHES. 

Olchon, was a regular Baptist church in 1633. How long 
it had been in existence before, we cannot tell. Their minister 
at that time was one of their own sons, of the name of Howelf 
Vaughan, who took them by the hand, and fed them with know- 
ledge and understanding. However, the increase of this 
church is one of the blessed effects of the circulation of the 
Bible in the Welsh Itmguage. The Welsh, as well as many 
other nations, had been for several hundred years without the 
Bible in their native tongue, except what might have been in 
nianuscripts. There were few copies of it in Latin. Some , 
part of the Scriptures was published in 1551; but the persecu-| 
tion under the reign of bloody Mary, put a stop to its circula- 
tion. Robert Farrar and Rawlins White, in Wales, as well as 
many others in England, were burnt to ashes for conscience' 
sake: the former suffered in the town of Carmarthen, and the 
latter near Cardiff, in the county of Glamorgan, South Wales. 
Bloody Mary died in 1558, and for the time being, the Roman 
or popish persecution died with her, and the whole Bible was ; 
ordered to be published in Welsh, by an act of .parliai«ent in| 
1563, under the superintendence of the Episcopal ministers or | 
bishops of Llanelwy, Bangor, St. Davids, and Hereford, trans- 
lated by William Salesbury, who lived in the Cal-du, Llansa- 
nan parish, Denbreghshire, North Wales. This was only for 
the churches, but the Bible for the use of the common people, 
was published in 1630, by Sir Thomas Middleton, of Wann- 
castle North Wales. 

The Welsh nation had several copies of the Bible, the Old 
and New Testaments, in manuscripts, after King Lucius made 
a profession of religion. Whether they had any before that 
period we know not ; but most of them were burnt as well as 
their meeting-houses in that dreadful pagan persecution under 
the reign of Dioclesian; but in a short time afterwards, they 
were very liberally supplied with a great mafty copies of the 
Bible in manuscript, by their countryman, the Emperor Con- 
stantino the Great. And we are rather of opinion, that some 
of these valuable manuscripts might have escaped the fire of 
St. Austin and his followers. 

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THB WEI.0H BJWPTISTS. BS 

In 1649, the efiects of the gospel were so amazing, that it 
seemed as if a general revival was about to take place in that 
part of the country. Many were converted to God, yielded 
obedience to his comniands, and enlisted under the banner of 
the crossi Many more were concerned about the things be- 
longing to t^ir eternal peace; inquired with tears in their 
eyes, "What they should de to be .saved;" while there 
were a great number on whose^ consciences the word appeared 
to make a serious impression. A considerable reformation of 
manners was evidently seen among, those who never had made 
a public profession of religion. Many of their barbarous, hea- 
thenish, and most ungodly customs, were either entirely abo- 
lished, or in a great degree abandoned. About this time a 
Baptist meeting-house wets built at Hay, a market-town about 
eight miles from Olchpn, where the church generally met until 
the persecution, when they had to draw towards the Black 
Mountain, and worship God under the canopy of heaven, as 
we have observed already. Several branches of this church 
|have been formed into distinct jchurches, which has reduced 
her to narrow bounds, but still she abides as a mother among 
many daughters. Many were the trials through which she 
passed; many were the afflictions wherewith she was af- 
flicted; and many and severe were the persecutions which 
she endured.* Their next pastor was William Williams, 
a young man from Cilfowyr. He was regularly dismissed 
from his mother church, and was ordained at Olchon in 1731. 
He c©ntiBued there about seven years, and then went to Maes- 
yberllan, to assist their minister. In his last days, however, he 
was not a very acceptable preacher, but was considered a good 
man. He died in 1771. 

In 1738, Jacoby Rees of Penyfay, was chosen pastor of this 
church. And about that time, John Powell, of Abergwessyn was 
baptized, and soon afterwards began to preach. He was a 
very gifted man, but there was something wrong in his con- 
duct. However, he was very highly esteemed by many. He 
died in 1743. Their pastor, J. Rees, having served them about 
seven years, left them and went to Blaenaugwent. 

In 1745, Joshua Andrews, from Penygani, engaged to sup- 
ply them two Sabbaths in the month ; and Joshua Thomas, the 
author of the History of the Baptists in Wales, the other two 
Sabbaths, till he went to Leominister, in 1754. About 1766, 
George Watkins, a member of the church, began to preach. 

♦ See a short Biography of Ten of the Ministers of this Church. 

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84 HISTOkV OF 

He was ordained in 1773, and ^igaged to preach for tbem half 
his time, and Joshua Andrews supplied them the other hMi 

About this time, they had preachingoflen near Capel-y-ffyn, 
in the house of a daughter of their late pastor, Thomas Watkins, 
until they built a meeting-house, where a branch of the church 
now meets. The preaching has been held since, alternately, 
at Olchon and Capel-y-ffynn. They are not ifar distant; were 
it not that the almost impassable Black Mountain is between them. 

Noah Delahay Symonds was a native of this region* He 
was baptized in the city of London, and returned to £s father^s 
house, and began to preach in this church in 1772, He went 
to Bristol College, was on probation for some time at Bovy- 
Tracy, in Devonshire. He removed from there to Bampton, 
in the same county, and was ordained there in 1777. 

This church, though the oldest in Wales, is undoubtedly the 
weakest. May the Lord revive his work among them. The 
association hasbeen held here in 1658, in 1754, and in 1770. 

Olch<m MinieterA, to the year 1770. 1 

1. Howell Vaughan, ordained before 1640, the period of hif 
death not known. 

2. Thomas Watkins began to preach 1643; died 1694. 

3. Walter Prosser b^an to preach 1644; time of his death 
wiknown. 

4. Thomas Parry was baptized 1641; died 1709* 

5. John Rees Howell, baptized 1645 ; died 1692. 

6. Howell Watkins, baptized 1645; died 1699. 

7. Thomas Jghn Williams; not known when he began to 
preach, nor when he died. 

8. Thomas Price; unknown when he began to preach, and 
when he died. 

9. Thomas Powell ; not known wh^i he began to preach, 
nor whett he died. . 

10. John Gilbert; not known when he began to preach, nor 
when he died. 

11. Joseph Price began to preach 1681; went to Bngland; 
died 1721: 

12. William Williams went to Maesyberllan; died 1771. 

13. Jacob Rees went to Blaenaugwent; died 1772. 

14. John Powell died 1743. 

15. Joshua Andrews. 

16. George Watkins. 

17. Noah Delahay SymcHids* 



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Tax WSL8H BAFners. #6 

LiJiNTsnAiifT Church was first formed at Llanfaches, on 
tke principle of mixed communion, by Mr. Wroth, assisted by 
Mr. Jesse of London, in the year 1639. William Thomas 
was co*pastor with Mr. Wroth In this church, until the time 
of the persecution under Charles the first, when he went to 
Bristol. 

In 1645, the Baptists separated themselves, and formed into 
a di^inct church at Llantrisaint, and had for their minister, one 
David Davis, and others to assist.* 

In the association held at Swansea in 1654, the church at 
Llantrisaint proposed to assist the church at Abergavenny, now 
Llanwenarth, to support their minister; which also they did 
From the messengers of Llantrisaint, aJso, the proposal to re- 
vive the ancient order of things, came the preceding year^ that 
Is, to encouragOiand support the missionary cause. Let our 
brethren in the new world, look and stare at this, especially 
our anti-missionary friends ! Be it known unto them, that in 
the year 1653, in the Welsh association held at Abergavenny, 
fcounty of Monmouth, South Wales, collections were made, 
when the Welsh church subscribed to raise a fund for mission- 
ary purposes. Their plan was, for the messengers of every 
church to mention a certc^in sum, and bind tliemselves to bring 
that sum with them to the next association. For instance, 
Swansea, £5; Llantrisaint, £2 10^.; Carmarthen, £2 10». 
No one was compelled to give any thing, neither was any mes- 
senger ever blamed for making such engagements, but was 
cheerfully assisted by his brethren to fulfil them. 

This is only a specimen of the commencement of the mis- 
sionary cause in this region. The next year, we find that the 
churches had more than doubled that sum. Llantrisaint gave 
five pounds sterling; which was no small sum, at that time, in 
the Welsh mountains. Many branches have sprung out of this 
root, which are now like the cedars in Lebanon, exceedingly 
high; so that the heavenly wind shakes them so powerfully, 
.that the seed is carried to a great distance. New plantations 
are raising up every year, far and near. He that is greater 
than Solomon, has piany thousands that bear burdens, and 
many hewers on the mountains of Wales, mJio prepare the ma- 
terials to build Zion the city of our God. In the year 1742, 
the meeting-house fell; and for some cause or other, it was 
never rebuilt. The members afierwards met at Penygam, near 
Pontypool.f 

* See their biography. * , . ^ , • . 

t See a Continuation of the History of thia Church, under the 
Penygam. 

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86 MMTORT CV 

Uantriuiint Minifters to the year 1770. 

1. Wroth dissented from the establishment in 1620. 

2. William Thomas began to preach in 1638; died 1671 

3. David Davis began to preach in 1645. 

4. Thomas Joseph began to preach in* 1646. 

5. Howell Thomas began to preach in 1646.^ . 

6. Thomas Jones began to preach in 1646; died 1680. 

7. William Davis went to Pennsylvania. 

8. William Thomas joined the Quakers in 1742. 

9. Walter Prosser preached here after he was ejected ironi 
Dredynog. 

DoLAU Church, in the county of Radnor, South Wales, 
Was formed through the instrumentality ofiiugh Evans, m 
1646, on the principle of strict communion. At first, their 
place, or places of worship, were in the open air, in the woods, 
where the members from three counties met to worship God, 
by reason of the persecution under the reign of Charles the first. 
Afterwards they met at the Cwm, in the parish of Llandde^ry, 
in the said county of Radnor; at the Pentref, in the county d 
Brecknock; and at the Garth, in the county of Montgonrery 
About the year 1721, the meeting was moved* from the Cwm to 
the Rock near Penybout, which was a dwelling-house, witli 
some land belonging to it, purchased by one of the members 
of the name of Stephen Price, who gave it for the use of the 
church forever. The house was converted into a meeting- 
house. A burying-ground was enclosed; and the annual rent 
of the land, with the interest of £100, (the gift of the said 
Price,) is for the support of the minister. Preaching was also 
held at a farm house called Dolau. The people in the neigh^ 
borhood of the Rock speak the English language, and tb<l 
Welsh is universally spoken about the Dolau. Aiid £is David 
Evans; their minister, could not preach in English, and most oi 
the members residing near Dolau, a meeting-house was built on 
that farm, and from that circumstance it is called the Dolau* 
However, after the death of David Evans, senior, David Evansj 
junior, his son, was ordained pastor of the church, and being 
able to preach in both languages, he preached at Dolau in 
Welsh, and at the Rock in English, every Lord's day. In the 
history of this church, we have an instance of the wonderful 
effect of habit. In the time of persecution, when the follower 
of the Lamb, were holding their meetings in secret places, for 
fear of being discovered by the wolves, the agents of the infer- 
nal foe, they were under the necessity of making as little 

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THK WELSH BAPTISTB. 87 

loise as they could, and consequently never had any singing. 
Fhey became so habituated to this custom, that they would not 
oiffer it to j)e introduced among them for mftny years after the time 
>f what is commonly called the liberty of conscience; and it was 
Krith some' difficulty that it was at all admitted into this church* 
W^hen it is recollected that the original constituents of the first 
Baptist church in Pennsylvania, were formerly members of 
Dolau, and that they left Wales in the time of persecution, the 
citizens of the Western World, will cease to wonder, that there 
has been a dispute in the church of Penepeck about *' singing 
5f psalms." The meeting-house at Dolau was built in 1761, 
U)d it has been rebuilt and enlarged since. 

Among the members of this church who went to America in 
1636,'"' there was one John Eaton, who had two sons, George 
uid Joseph, who became preachers of the gospel in that country. 
Qeoi^ married Mary Davis, a daughter of Peter Davis, an as- 
sistant preacher in this church. He was useful in the ministry 
for many years in the church at Penepeck, Pennsylvania, and 
died in 1764. 

Joseph Eaton, his brother, was only seven years old when 
he went to America. He was baptized in that Western world, 
and called to the work of the minbtry, as an assistant to Benja- 
min Griffiths, in the church called Montgomery, in the year 
1722, with whom he did not agree very well in some things, 
which caused a great deal of uneasiness in the church, and 
ended in a s^)aration in 1743. Joseph Eaton died in 1749, 
aged 70 years. His son, Isaac Eaton, A. M., was the first 
pastor of the church at Hopewell in that country. He joined 
Southampton church, and commenced preaching in early life. 
He went to Hopewell in 1748, and was ordained pastor of that 
church the same year. He continued in the pastoral office 
until July 4th, 1772, when he died, aged 47 years. We have 
collected this from Thomas's History. 

David Benedict says that his funeral sermon was preached 
by Samuel Jones, D. D., Penepeck, who thus briefly portrayed 
his character: *^ The natural endowments of his mind; the im- 
provement of these by the accomplishment of literature; his 
early and genuine piety ; his abilities as a divine and a preach- 
er; his extensive knowledge of men and books; would aj9brd 
ample scope to flourish in a funeral oration; but it is needless." 
He wis the first among the American Baptists, who set up a 
school for the education of young men for the ministry. 

Samud Jones, D. D., was bom at Ccfeu-y-gelly, in Beltus 

* See Sftmuel Jooee'a biograpl^. 

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BB HI8T0ST OP 

parish, Glamorganshire, on January 14, 1735; went to Ame* 
rica in 1737; was bred in the College of Philadelphia; was 
(^datned minister of Penepeck, January 8, 1763. 

John Thomas was bom in the county of Radnor, South 
Wales, in 1703. He went to AmeNca, and became the pastor 
of Montgomery church, Pennsylvania. This is all that we 
have ever heard of him, except that he was the first pastor of 
the Hilltown church, which sprang from Montgomery church. 

Nathan Davis, son of Francis Davis,* was a w3d young 
man ; but, as we have stated, became b member and pastor of 
this church. He was ordained in 1703. In 1707, he received 
a very pressing invitation to become the pastor of the church at 
£Uop, England. He was very much respected at home and 
abroad, in England and in Wales ; and a very useful and 
fiiithful minister of Jesus Christ, until he died, the 8th of June, 
1726, aged 63 years* On his tombstone are the fii^lowing 
lines: 

Believe, repent, leave sin while thon hast breath ; 

ESternal wo or joy will follow death. 

Here see and view thy end without delay; 

Prepare for death and the great judgment day. 

For know, O reader ! thou must shortly dwdl, ^ 

Alas! with me in dust. Awake!— Farewell! 

• ■ ■ I 

Roger Walker wais their next pastor, who was married to 
their former pastor's daughter, Thomas Davis his assistant. 
Though R. Walker was an Englishman, yet, by the assistance 
^f his wife, he learned Welsh, so as to be able to preach in that i 
language. He is the first man that we ever heard of doing such a i 
thing. He died in 1748, aged 63 years, and waa buried in tbo 
gFave«-yard, by the Rock meeting-house. 

While on the earth 1 was upon this Rock, 
I daily strove to fised my Savior's flock. 

Thomas Davis, having preached here about seven yeort 
after the death of R. Walker, for some reason or other wa« 
determined to leave the place; and accorditigly rented a farm 
at a great distance, in Monmouthshire. But while he was at 
that &rm, making some preparations to remove his fkmily, he 
died, in 1756. Miles Harris, in a letter to Mr. Thomas of Leo^ 
minisler, says, that he was very comfortable in his last daya 

^ 9m his biograplv. 

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— that he felt himself happy ia his ccmipany as long as he eooki 



Their next minister was Richard Jones, who had heen 
among the Preshyterians. He was baptized in this churchy in 
1749; was called to be their minister in 1750; and afler about 
twenty years, he was excluded. Afterwards he returned to the 
Presbjrterian church whence he came. 

They were^ now, some time without a minister. At last, 
David Evans, a young mai^ from Cilfowyr, was chosen 'by 
them unanimously. He was ordained in 1771, and continuecl 
their faithful and laborious minister until his death* 

DoloM BRmHers to the year 1770. 

1. Hugh Evans. Died 1656. 

Assistant pastor, John Price. Died 1673. 

2. Henry Gregory. Died 1700. 

Assistant pastor, Brancis Davis. Died 1700^ 
Assistmit pastor, Peter Davis. 

3. Nathan Davis. Died 1726^ 

4. Roger Walker; Died 1748, 
^. Thomas Davis. Died 1756^ 
6» Richard Jones. Excluded^ 
7. David Evans. 

Assistant pastor, James Griffiths.* 
SwAMSBA Church, in the county of Glamorgan, South 
Wides, was gathered and regularly formed by John Miles, in 
1649. This church enjoyed much peace and prosperity under 
his niinistry, until the persecuticm on the restoration of Charles 
the second. Afterwards our brethren had to meet in difierent 
places, in the most secret manner: such as Heol-las, Lledre- 
brith, and AUtfowr, and different private houses in the town of 
Swansea. In 1698, they rented tha old Presbyterian meeting- 
house. In 1758, they built a new meeting-house, on leased 
premises of ninety-nine years, In 1710, several of the mem- 
bers of this church emigrated to America. The following is a 
copy of the letter of their recommendation, which was con- 
sidered as their dismission? 

"South Waubs, in Great Britain. 
" The church of Jesus Christ, meeting at Swansea, in Gla- 
morganshire, owning believer's baptism, la3ring on of hands, 
the doctrine of personal election and final perseverance; to any 

* See the biography of tho fint nHoiitSTS of this charoh, 
a * • 

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99 snrosT OF 

dwreh of Jesus Christ, in the proviDce of Fennsylrania, in 
America, of the same faith and order, to whom this may con- 
eem, sendeth Christian salutalion* Grace, mercy, and peace, 
dirough our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. Dearly beloved br^h- 
ren, in the Lord Jesus Christ: Whereas our dearly beloved 
brethren and sisters, by name — Hugh Davb, an ordained 
minister, and Margaret his wife, Anthony Mathews, Simon 
Mathews, Morgan Thomas, Samuel IJughes, Simon Butler, 
Arthur Melchior and Hannah his wife, design, by God's per- 
mission, to go with brother Soreney, to the aforesaid province 
of Pennsylvania : This is to testify unto you; that all the above 
named are in full communion with us, and we commit them, all 
of them, to your Christian care, beseeching you, therefore, to 
receive them in the Lord, watching over them, and perform- 
ing all Christian duties towards them, as becometh Christians to 
their fellow members. So we commit you and them to tTie Lord, 
and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you and 
them up in the most holy faith. That the God of peace may 
sanctify you wholly, and that your and their spirits, souls, and 
bodies, may be pi^eserved blameless unto the coming of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, shall be the earnest prayer of your breth- 
, ron, in th© faith and fellowship of the gospel. 

Dated the 3d of the 7th Month, 1710 — Signed at our Meet- 
ing by a part of the wholc^ 



John Davis, 
Jacob Morgan, 
joh^ howkll, 
Robert Edwards, 
Philip Mathews, 

Thomas Morgan."* 

* * # . 



John Morgan, 
William Mathews, 
William Morgan, 
Hugh Mathews, 
John Hughes, 
Owen Dowle, 
Morgan Nicholas, 

Their first pastors were, John Miles, Lewis Thomas, and 
Morgan Jones — Thomas Proud, William Thomas, Morgan 
Jones, Robert Morgan, and John Morgan, Assistants.f After 
the death of their pastor, Morgan Jones, they were, for some 
time, without one. Griffith Jones, of Penyfay, administered 
the ordinances during that period. 

Their next pastor was Griffith Davis. He was born in 
169d — ^baptized in 1721 — ^began to pl^each in 17:^6— ordained 
in 1736 — and died in 1776. John Davis was an assistant 
proftcher in the church, more than fifly years. He refused to 

* There is one name xpore iq the book, not legible. 
t See their biocrafriiy. 

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THE WBL8H BAPTISTS. 91 

*take the paitoral .care of the chureh. He had a great deal less 
•pinion of himself, than others had of him* He died in his 
Master's service^ while he was fuifilHng his appointments, in 
Pembrokeshire, at Boncath.' He was buried at Cilfbwyr, in 
Pembrokeshire. 

Benjamin Francis was baptized in this church, when he was 
fifteen years old; and called to the ministry in 1755. He 
went to Bristol college, and became the pastor of the church 
of Horsley, England, in 1758. He attended the Welsh asso- 
ciations annually, for many years. He was a godly and lively 
preacher— his voice almost, if not altogether, as clear aa 
George Whitfield's — whith was much in his favor, in preach- 
ing in the open air, to fifleen thousand people, in a Wel&h asso- 
ciation. The writer heard Mr. Winterbottom, the late pastor of 
Horsley, saying, "If any body should bring a dog from Wales, 
and could testify that Benjamin Francis did once tap him on the 
head, it would fare well at Horsley, such is the esteem in 
which he is held there to this day."* 

John Hopkin was an assistant in this church before the 
death of G. Davis, and many years afterwards, when they 
were destitute of a pastor. 

• Svmnsea Ministers to the year 1770, 

1. John MilCT. Died 1660. 

Assistant, Thomas Proud. Died 1660. 
" Morgan Jones. 
" William Thomas. 

2. Lewis Thomas. Died 1703. 
8. Morgan Jones. Died 1730. 

Assistant, Robert Morgan; Died 1711; 

" John Morgan, his son. , Died 1703^ 
** John Davis. Died 1742. 
" Griffith Jones. Died 1754. 
" David Owen. Died 1766. 
4. Griffith Davis. Died 1776. 

William Morgan, baptized here. Died at Salop, 1753, 
Benjamin Francis went to Horsley, England. 
Assistant, John Hopkin. 

Lla.n-Bryn-Maik, was formed ahout the year 1650» 
through the instrumentality of Vavasor Powel. For that rea- 
son, it was generally known by the name of Powel's church* 

'^ See his hiognphf. 

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92 BI9T0ST OP 

for upwards of one hundred years. In his time il was re-* 
markably large, and very much scattered, meeting for divkie 
worship in several places: ^sucl^ as Llan-bryn*niair, Aberfaa- 
fesb, Fachwen, Ca'rcapon, Llanfyllyn, and Newtown: and 
some of these places are far from each other. Before the per- 
secution, the cause of our Redeemer wtfs in a very proq)er6us 
condition in this region. Hundreds were converted to €rod,*by 
the influence of the Holy Spirit attending the ministry of Va- 
vasor Powel. The church, at that time, contained from four 
to five hundred members. In 1 660,^the ravenous wolves broke 
in among the flocks, and made a most 'terrible havoc of theln. 
They most dreadfully persecuted, chased, and spoiled the shep- 
herd and the sheep. From this period to the end of his life, 
Vavasor Powel had to spend his days in one prison or an- 
other. After his death, they were destitute of a minister for a 
considerable time, until one of their own members, of .the name 
of Henry Williams, led them by the still waters to the green 
pastures, though surrounded .by that sort of wild beasto, on 
every hand, which were ten thousand times more dangerous 
than the tigers and the iions of the forest. 

He labored among them, for the space of two or three years, 
until he was stopped from preaching publicly by the higher 
powers. But he contini^ed to preach privately, in several parts 
of the county, as oflen as he had an opportunity, until he was 
imprisoned, when all his personal property was taken from 
him. At his death, he left this numerous and scattered church 
in the wilderness, without a pastor. But though the under 
shepherd is dead, the great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls 
is yet alive. A respectable young man, a member of the 
church, of the name of Reynold Wilson, who had been regu- 
larly brought nip for the church of England, but havmg 
examined the word of God, and felt its power in his soul, not- 
withstanding tlie troubjes of the times, determined to suffer af- 
fliction with the people of God-^o answer a good conscience. 
He was called to the work of the ministry, and became the 
pastor of this church afler H. Williams's (kath. He set up a 
seminary in that neighborhood, where many respectable young 
men were brought up : some of them became clergymen of the 
established church. How the wheels of Providence turn round ! 
One of his students, Francis Turner, became his assistant in 
the work of the ministry, until he received a call to become 
the pastor of the Baptist ehurch at Hill-Cliff, Gloucestershire; 
where he remained all the days of his life, and where he was 
buried^ On his tombstone is the following epitaph : 

% 

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THS WaLSH BAPTI6T8. 9S 

.«* Frances Tiiraer, late pastor of the church of Christ, at 
ffill-aiff, died September 16th, 1727, aged 73.* 

Soimdness'of faith, true learning:, love, and fetir, 
Dwelt in that soul, i^hose dust in peace lies here.** 

John Turner^ his son, was also a minister of the gospel at 
Liverpool, until his death. The following epitaph is on his 
tombstone th^re: . 

" In memory of the late pious and faithful minu^ter of Christ, 
Mr. John Turner, who departed this life, January 12th, 1739» 
aet* 50. 

. This orient star shall shine forever bright, 
Who set the sacred truth in a clear light. 
Those, sheep and Iambs of Christ, whom here he fed» 
Shall live forever with him in their Head.** 

After Francis Turner went to Warrington, Reynold Wilson 
was left alone in the work of the rninistry, at Llan-bryn-mair- 
The important work soon becdme too heavy for him ; particu- 
lariy as the church met at so many different places. William 
Jervisf became his assistant. Soon after, some of the bramches 
belonging to this church, regularly formed themselves into dis- 
tinct churches. After William Jervis left them, Benjamin 
MerecUth, of Llanwenarth, a gifted young man, was ordained 
pastor of the church ; but in the course of two or three years, 
he was deemed to be erroneous in his sentiments, and he left 
th^xi. 

Llan*Bryn-Mair Mimatera. 

1. Vavasor Pqwel. Died 1670. 
2,. Henry Williams. Died 1670. 
' 8. Reynold Wilson. Died 1720. 
4. Francis Turner. l)ied 1727. 
6. Benjamin Meredith. Died 1749. 

Wrexham. ' W. Cradoc, who was converted under tho 
"ministry of Mir. Wroth, had his education at Oxford college, 
and was a man of considerable landed property in Monmouth* 
shipe ; but, iif the course of providence, became a resident of 
Wrexham. Though in many things he followed the form of 

* See his biography. 

t William Jervia was m Independent minister. Lewis Rees, John Tibbot, 
•od Richard Tibbot, were also Independents. 

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94 niSTOBY OF 

the church of En^and, ye^ he was a powerful preacher, and 
God abundantly blessed his labors. The consequence was, 
that, as the taverns, and many sorts of carnal amusements, 
were deserted, many rose up against him, like Demetrius 
against Paul, because the former ungodly actions of the people 
were of great gain to them. But notwithstanding all this, he 
preached faithfully aad perseveringly, in the town and the 
country around, until the persecution under king Charles; 
when he was obliged to leave the country, like many others at 
that time. However, the seed soon4)rought forth fruit to the 
glory of God. Morgan Lloyd » who was converted ito God 
under his ministry, soon became a very eminent, pious, and 
evangelical preacher in the town of Wrexham; and John 
Evans after him : both of them have already been . noticed.* 
Also, Timothy Thomas, a grandson of John Evans, who went 
afterwards to Pershore, England. He was born seven months i 
after his father's death, but through the instrumentality of his 
mother, and the aid of his rich uncle Titus, he knew Xhe Holy 
Scriptures from his youth, and was brought up " in the nurture 
and admonition of the. Lord." He was baptized on the proles- 
sion of his faith, when hp was very young, and soon b^gan to 
preach in his grandfather's church, and many other places in 
England and Wales. When he was twenty years old, he was 
called to be the pastor of the Baptist church, at Pershore, Wor- 
cestershire. He was a very laborious, respectable, and accept* 
able preacher all the days of his life: not only on account of 
his talents and learning, but his most wonderful succeiss and 
prosperity in the work of the Lord. Benjamin Reach, hearing 
him preach in London, said, " He is the best preacher in the 
kingdom, but we must not tell him that." He died at the age 
o€ forty, and was buried at Pershore. The following is on his 
tombstone: 

t' Here lieth the body of Timothy Thomas, minister of the 
gospel, who departed this life, January 10th, 1716, aged 40 
years. 

* And many that sleep in the dust of Ae earth, shall aw^ike.* Datu 12.-2.** 

There was a gentleman living near Wrexham, of the ^ame 
of Thomas Edwards, Esq., a member of the church, who often 
preaehed for them. He was a learned, pious, and gifted man. 
He wrote and published a book on the controversy between 
Dr. Williams and Dr. Crisp, called ^'Baxterianism Barefaced." 

* See their biographf. 

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THE WELSH BAPTISTS. 95 

Jenkin Thomas also preached among them, for some lime. 
What became of him, we do not- know. John Williams was 
their next minister. He was a son of that pious nobleman, 
Lfieutenant Williams, of Llangallon. He was brought up a 
Presbyterian, but to answer a good conscience towards God, he 
submitted to the ordinance of believers' baptism, according to 
hia word. He was a very humble, meek, and kind man, re- 
markably circumspect in his conversation. His talents, how- 
ever, were more calculated to comfort, confirm, and build up 
the people of God, than to awaken careless sinners. 

About the latter end of the reign of Queen Ann, the clouds 
were darkened, and the storms of persecution made their hor- 
rid appearance; but after her death, and the coronation of 
George the first, the atmospheric air seemed to be considerably 
more calm. But the enemies of the cross, being disappointed, 
became exceedingly wroth, and in no place did they manifest 
their fury more than in Wrexham. They pulled down the 
Presbyterian meeting-house, and considerably injured the 
other; but the government soon stopped their progress, and 
made up the loss of the sufferers. After the death of John 
William^, the church was a long time without a pastor. They 
were laboring under two inconveniences : they were advocates 
of mixed communion, and there were but very few ministers in 
Wales who sanctioned that practice. Also, it was necessary 
that their minister should preach in both languages; for Wrex- 
ham is on the borders of England. 

The following persons were for some years on probation : 
John Philips, of Rhydwilim ; Rees Williams, of Maesyberllan ; 
and Morgan Henry, of Blaenaugwent. In the year 1737, 
Evan Jenkins, a gifted, promising young man, well versed in 
Welsh and English, paid them a visit; but in the course of 
twelve months, he went to Exeter, England, and continued 
there about a year and a half. . He then returned to Penygarn, 
Monmouthshire, where he was a member, and was ordained in 
that church in 1740* He accepted the call of the church of 
Wrexham, settled in the town, and was married there in 1741. 
He was a son of John Jenkins, pastor of the Baptist church at 
Rhydwilim, where he himself was originally a member; and 
from there he was regularly dismissed to Penygarn, where he 
was called to the work of the ministry. He received his edu- 
cation at Bristol college. No one ever preached oftener, in as 
short a time, in the Welsh associations, than he. He often 
preached at Cefu, North Wales; and was the means of raising 
the Baptist church, at Brosely, Salop, England. But notwith- 
standing that, he was a very acceptable preacher at home alui 

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M UI8T0RT OP 

abroadt his ministry was not greatly blessed at Wrradiam. 
He preached at the association held at Hengoed, in 1751 ; bul 
before the next association, he had joined the association of the 
spirits of just men made periect, in the mai^sions of glory. 

He was buried at Wrexham. On his tombstone is the fol' 
lowing epitaph: 

*♦ Underneath are deposited the remains of the Rev. Evan 
Jenkins, late minister of the gospel at Wrexham; who, after a 
life, holy and exemplary, studiously laid out, and laboriously 
spent, in the service of God, and for the welfare of immortal 
souls, finished his course with joy^ in the 40th year of his age, 
March 23, 1752. 

* Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he. cometh shall find so 
doing.' Luke 12:43. 

* We are onto God a sweet savor of Christ in them that pxe suved, ftnd ii\ 
them that perish.* 2 Cor, a:15." 

Their next minister was David Jones, of Moleston, Pem- 
brokeshire, who was ordained there in 1755. He had been 
a preacher, for many years, among the Calvinistic Methodists. 
Soon after he settled at Wrexham, a revival commenced, and 
a great many were added to the church, and new churches 
were formed in the county, at New Bridge and Gluneeiriog.* 
But something of a disgraceful nature took place between him 
and the church; so that after he got a new meeting-house 
built in the county, and another in the town, and collected 
money to pay for them, he left the place*, and became an itine- 
rant preacher. 

Their next minister was Joseph Jenkins, A. M., a son of 
their late pastor, Evan Jenkins. | 

Wrexham Ministers* 

1. Morgan Lloyd. Died about the year 1658. 

2. John Evans^ Died 1700. 

3. Timothy Thomas — went to England. Died 1716. 

4. John Williams. Died 1725. 

5. Evan Jenkins. Died 1752. 

6. David Jones. 

7. Joseph Jenkins. 

Llakwei^arth Church, was formed in the month 
August, 1662. The original members were thirteen in nuit 

^ See the Histoiy 9f the Gluneeiriog charcb. 

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TBS WELSH BAPTISTS. 9} 

ber: seven men and six women. The day on which thfli 
church yas constituted, they received, by letter, one from Llan- 
trisaint, one from Swansea, and one iron! Olchon— making;, 
in the whole, twenty-five members* 

Respecting the thirteen original constituents, their church 
book gives no accoun^ whence they came. The general 
opinion is, that they had been dismissed from Llantrisaint, ii^ 
order to form themselves into a church there. William Prich- 
ard was one of the thirteen, who was then a preacher, and 
soon afterwards became their pastor. In July, 1653, the asso* 
elation was held in this church, when it was resolved that 
William Prichard should be ordained. Soon after the associa- 
tion, there was a great dispute in the town about baptism. 
John Tombs preached on the subject of believers' baptism, and 
John Cragg, A. M#, on the subject of Pedobaptism. And on 
the 5th of September, the same year, there was a public debate 
on the subject, in St. Mary's church in the town : John Tomba 
for believers' baptism, and John Cragg, A. M., and Henry 
Vaughan, A. M., for pedobaptism* John Cragg alsQ published 
a book on the swbject; and was answered by John Tombs. 
The consequence was, that between forty and fifty were bap- 
tized, (many of them had been members in the Pedobaptist. 
order,) and added to the Baptist church that year. In the year 
1654, there were several young men in this church, who were 
exercising their gifts as public speakers. Some of them were 
very acceptable, and some of them were not. And as the 
church had increased considerably, they contributed thirty 
pounds for the support of their minister that year. In 1655, 
the subject of the laying on of hands on the baptized, came un- 
der their consideration ; and hearing that the Baptist church 
at Glazier's Hall, London, was for it, they sent a letter to them 
on that subject; and the brethren, William Rider and Robert 
Hopkin, were sent from London to instruct their brethren in 
Wales respecting that d.uty. In the time of persecution, some 
of the members' were living in the Cwmdu. They attended 
divine, service at the church, twice 'in the month, and attended 
to the ordinance of the Lord's supper, every other month. At 
that time, they always partook of the Lord s supper, after eat- 
ing their evening meal, commonly called supper. Whether 
that was a matter of conscience, or in consequence of the mer- 
ciless persecution with which they had to encounter, we do not 
know. Hitherto they had no meeting-house, but they met 
in different dwelling-houses. In 1695, Christopher Price, 
an assistant preacher of William Prichard, gave a spot of 
ground, on which a meeting-house was then built, and called 

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96 uurtoRY or 

Llanwenarth. This church was considered, for many years, 
as the Jerusalem of Wales, and William Prichard, chief bishop.; 
Joshua James, who wa§ received a member of the church i» 
1689, became an assistant of William Prichard in his old age^ 
mid after his death became the pastor of the church. He was 
very much respected in London and Bi^tol, as well as at home. 
Through him the Welsh ministers received money from thtf 
London fund. He died in the month of August, 1726, being 
sixty-three years old* These words are on his tombstone, at 
Llanwenarth: 

**Here lieth one of Abel's race. 
Whom Cain did hunt from place to place j 
Yet, hot dismay'd, about he went. 
Working untH his days were spent. 
He^s now at rest, and takes a nap • 
Upon his common mother's lap. 
Waiting to hear the Bridegroom say. 
Arise, my love, and -come away." 

Abel Morgan was a useful nian here,* but when that branch 
of the church at Blaenaugwent, was formed into a separate 
church, he belonged to it — and from there he went 'to Ame- 
rica.* 

Timothy Lewis was ordained in this church, in 1708, by 
William Prichard and Joshua James. Notwithstanding tbsU 
he was not very well received as a preacher, yet he was use- 
ful at home, and in the neighboring churches. 

John Spencer was a member and a preacher in this church, 
in 1695, How long he continued, we have not been in- 
formed. 

William Meredith was bom about the beginning of the per- 
secution, and was received, as a member of the church, one 
year before its close — that is, 1687. How much he suffered, 
we cannot tell. He began to preach about the year 1700. He 
would not be ordained, but he was one of the most active and 
laborious preachers that ever existed. It is said that he used 
to walk, on Sunday moaning, twenty or twenty-five miles to 
preach. He finished his pilgrimage in the month or March, 
1742. 

David Evans was a preacher in this church, some time be- 
fore 1718. He went to America in 1730. He wrote a letter 
to Miles Harris. It appears that he could not pi^ach in Eng- 

* See bis biography. 

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THE WELSH BArTlSTS. 90 

lish, and of course had to give it up. In Griffith Jones's letter 
concerning him, we find that he lived in Pennsylvania, about 
sixty miles from Philadelphia; that he was doing well; was 
much respected, and was called Esquire Evans, and sometimcls 
Captain Evans; that he had many children and grandchildren. 
If ever we shall see the History of the Baptists in America, w* 
hope to hear more of this good man.* 

Roger Davis began to preach here in 1716, and when the 
minister died, he was chosen pastor of the church, in 173S. 
He served the church carefully, and filled his statk>n honora- 
bly^ until he finished his labors in February, 1742. The 
church, for ninety years before this time, never had any min- 
ister from any other church. She had been fed, from her first 
formation, by one and another of her own sons. And even 
now, she had to go no farther than her own daughter's, (Bla- 
enaugwent,) which had been a branch of this church. 

Thomas Edwards, a member of Blaenaugwent, was the 
object of her choice. He was ordained here in 1737. He 
was a sickly man, weak in body, but strong in spirit — a mighty 
preacher of the New Testament. His ministry was very ac- 
ceptable, and his conversation becoming the gospel of Christ. 
But his race was short ; his strength failed, and he soon ripened 
for another and a better place- His labors, afflictions, and 
services, were finished in 1746; being thirty-four years old. 
Oreat was the mourning after him, by his family, the chuicb, 
and all that knew him. " ^ 

Caleb Harris was their next minister. He was born in 
Newcastle, Carmarthenshire; was baptized and became a mem- 
ber of the Baptist church there, in 1738. He began to preach 
about 1742. 

Benjamin Meredith^ of whom some account htfs been citen 
in the history of Llan-bryn-mair, was a son of William Mere- 
dith, one of the pastors of this church. He began to preach 
about 1730; was remarkably gifted, and very acceptable 
throughout the church. He was ordained in 1733. He dif- 
fered, in some respects, firom many of his brethren, respecting 
the Trinity. . He returned from Llan-bryn-mair to Llanwe- 
fwirth, -but never was very much respected afterwards. 
Though he never gave the chuifch any trouble on account of 
bis sentiments or conduct, yet he never preached much after 
lis return. 
Francis. Lewis began to preach about 1745; the next y«ar 

* Thoina8*s Histoiy of the Baptists in Wales. 

We have not seen any thin^ concerning him in Benedict* i Histoiy.— Ed. 

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100 HtaroHT or 

went to Bristol college, and became the pastor of the Baptist 
church at Newbury, Berkshire, England. 

James Edwards commenced the work of the ministry hercd 
in 1750, He also went to the same college, and was after^ 
Vards chosen pastor of the Baptist church at Waterford, Ire- 
land. He was a brother to Morgan Eidwards, author of the 
History of the American Baptists. 

David Jones was brought up a Presbj^erian ; but ;while in 
Abergavenny college, under the tuition of D. Jardine, he was 
convinced* that believers' baptism is the baptism of the Bible. 
Therefore he endeavored to answer a good conscience towards 
God, notwithstanding the critical situation in which he was 
placed. He was baptized at Llanwenarth, in 1765, but he wai 
fioon obliged to leave the college, and return home to Carmar- 
thenshire, his native place. He did not settle any where, but 
preached in the Baptist churches, in that county, until he died, 
in the year 1770. 

Morgan Harris and John Price, were called by this church 
to exercise their gifts in the work of the ministry, on piobatioo, 
in 1774. ^ The former went t© Bristol college in 1776. " 

William Parry began to preach here in 1747, but in ik 
course of a few years gave up the ministry^ and became what 
fc called an occasional preacher. 

This church built a new meeting-house in the town of Aber- 
^venny, two miles from Llanwenarth, in 1769. It was in 
differe^^ dwelling-houses in this town, the church originally 
met for divine worship. The church is not so much scattered 
now, as there are so many of her brethren formed into sepa- 
rate churches. They broke bread at Llanwenarth, every 
month, and in the town of Abergavenny, every three months. 
^he congregation in the town is not very numerous, but in the 
country, at Llanwenarth, it is exceedingly large. Most of tbt 
inhabitants, for several miles around, are favorable to Baptisi 
sentiments. 

Llanwenarth Ministers* 

• 1. William Prichard. Died 1708. 
Assistant, Anthony Harris. 
" John Edwards. 
" Christopher Price. Died 16t7. 
Abel Morgan went to America. 
6. Joshua James. Died 1728. 

Assistant, Timothy. Lewis— ordained as an assistant 
" John Spencer. Died 1728^ 

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THE WBL8H BAPTISTS* 101 

Asuifttant, WllKam Meredith. Died 1742. 
David Evan^^ent to America. 

3. Roger Davis. ^ Died 1742. 
Benjamin Meredith, lytoi 1749. 

4. Thomas Edwards. Died 1746. 
Francis Lewis went to Newbury, England. 
Jamc^ Edwards went to Ireland. 

David Jones. Died 1769. 
•5. Caleb Harris. 
Morgan Harris went to England. 
John Price, probationer. 

HsNGOBD CwuRCH, Glamorganshire, was originally a 
branch of Llantrisaint. It was constituted a church about 
1654. Thomas Jones was their first minister, who labored 
among them, suffered with them, and for the best cause, as 
long as he lived. He died about eight years before the end of 
the persecution under Charles the second.- When the church 
was formed, they met in a dwelling-house, called Berthlwyd, 
in the parish of Llanfaboh, and in another place, called Craig- 
yr-allt, in the parish of Eglwysilan. In the biography of 
Thomas Jones, the pastor of this church, we have made a few 
remarks, respecting one of the members, whose given name 
was Sappanaia, but known in Wales, in his time and even to 
this day, by the name of Old Samn. Once, in the time of 
persecution, as the members of this church held a religious 
meeting, in a private room up stairs, in the parish of Werthyr- 
Tydfil, the hired girl belonging to the house watching the 
door. Old Savin, who lived at a great distance, and knew no* 
thing of the meeting until he came to the neighborhood, arrived 
late in the evening; but .there was no admittance — the door 
was secured, and the girl keeping watch as a faithful sentinel. 
The old man, finding himself in a sad predicament, resolved to 
try the following experiment: He walked backward and for- 
ward, before the door, and said repeatedly, with a loud voice, 
** There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, be- 
cause fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect 
in love." The consequence was, that, though the girl knew 
him not, yet she readily opened the door; and great was the 
joy within the house, when they found it was Old Savin. 

Afler the death of Thomas Jones, this church was destitute 
of a pastor for a long time, but they were oflen refreshed by 
the labors of that eminent man of God, Lewis Thomas, of 
Swapseat 

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102 HI8T0BY OV 

About 1700, Morgan Griffiths, of Rbydwilim, ««« called to 
the pastoral office in this oburch, and rem»«ied among them 
many years. How long he was ordaii»*i» before he left Rhyd- 
wilim, we have not been able to ascertain. In a copy of the 
letter of his dismission from Rhydwilim, it is said, that the 
church had a long trial of his highly becoming conduct, his 
grace, and ministerial gifts; that he had been ordainedvto the 
work of the ministry, by prayers, and fasting, and the laying 
on of the hands of the elders: but it does not mention the date. 
In 1710, the meeting-house was built — ^the congregation in- 
creased, and many were added to the church; so that .there 
were no less than five hundred members at that time. 

David Rees was a member of this church. He was bom in 
1688, of very pious parents, and yvsta converted to God when 
very young. His lively qualifications — his diligence, together 
with his anxious desire to be useful, induced his parents to 
spare no pains nor expense in his education. He ivas first 
under the tuition of that notable man, Samuel Jones, M. A., 
near Neath, Glamorganshire. Soon the news of his promising 
talents reached the metropolis, and he .was cordially invited 
there, by some of the greatest men in London ; and he was 
unanimously called to the pastoral office, by the Baptist church 
at Lime-House, London. He was ordained by Joseph Stennet 
and John Piggot, about the year 1709. He was the pastor of 
that church about forty years, and was very «seful in the city, 
as well as to his countrymen in Wales. 

The^was another assistant preacher in the church, of the 
name of William Davis, who was ordained over the church at 
Llantrisaint. About this time, the debate about baptism was 
so hot, that both Baptist and Pedobaptist ministers thought it 
advisable to put a stop to it, by holding a friendly meeting to- 
gether : which abo they did, at Merthyr-Tydfil, in 1728. 

Several of the members of this church «vcht to America; 
among whom was Reynold HowelL He Hved near Carphily, 
Glamorganshire. Though he was not a minister, yet he was 
a man of great knowledge in spiritual things. 

Thomas Williams and Roger Davis, also frere assistant 
preachers here at this time. 

Evan Edwards was an assistant preacher, a godly man of 
good savor. 

William Philips, an assistant preacher, pi^ached constantly 
in a distant branch of the church, called €os5ach. 

Charles Winter was an assistant preacher. Ife was a roan 
of piety, parts, and prudence. 



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THB 1WXL8S BAFTISTf*^ J 03 

All these were of great help to their old pastor, Moi^n 
Griffiths, who^ served them faithfully for the space of thirty- 
seven years, ' His sermons were short, comprehensive, and so 
methodical, that most of his hearers could recollect them. He 
finished his work on earth, on the 11th of June, 1738, being 
sixty-nine years old. He was buried in the burying-ground 
belonging to the church. The following epitaph is on his 
tombstone: 

" Here lieth the body of Morgan Griffiths, who was for thir- 
ty-seven years, a laborious and successful pastor of the church 
of Christ here. He departed this life, the 1 1th day of June, 
1738, aged 69. 

From these remains the soul hath fled above, 
Who was the sinner*s light, the godly's love. 
All sorts he did admonish, and was kind ; 
He many winn*d, and tau£;ht with humble mind.** 

Their next pastor was Griffith Jones, from Penyfay. The 
work of the Lord prospered in his hand wonderfully ; so that 
he was baptizing several almost every month, for a long time. 
Another meeting-house was built, called Bethesda, in 1746, 
and twenty-one of the members of this church dismissed to 
form a new church there. But in the midst of joy, here springs 
up sorrow. Griffith Jones, their beloved pastor, went to 
America, in 1749. He was born at the Allt-fawr, in the pa- 
rish of Llanon, county of Carmarthe», in 1695. He Began to 
preach when he was nineteen, in his father's church, meeting 
at Swansea, Llanon, Fagwyr, and Penyfay. In the time of 
persecution, after the return of Charles the second in 1660, 
Allt-fawr, became a city of refuge, to which pilgrims resorted, 
and ofteifi found themselves much refreshed both in their bodies 
and souls, while travelling the road to Zion. Under this con- 
sideration, the writer must acknowledge his weakness — the 
moment his eye caught the word Allt-fawr, he could not help 
shedding a tear. The church met here for a long time, before 
and after John Miles, their first pastor, went to America. 

Morgan Jones, who began to preach in 1646, lived at Allt- 
fawr. Thomas, in his history of the Baptists in Wales, says, 
that his father held meetings here for a long time. Whether 
his father was a preacher or not, we are not positive. . But it 
appears from the words, held meetings^ that he was. The 
tradition that is generally believed in Wales, is this: That 
John Morgan — that is, Morgan Jones' father — ^was a wild 
young roaui and being possessed of ooosiderable property, (Aht 



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104 msTosT or 

he was the s(^ proprietor of AUt-fawr,*)' and fond of sedng 
the world, he travelled through some part of England, and 
•pent his whole stock while at Exeter. Finding he could go 
no farther, he hired himself to one of the citizens of that place. 
However, it was not to feed swine, we presume. But, be that 
as it may, Grod was pleased to visit him in his sovereign grace 
and mercy; and, like the prodigal son. He brought him to him- 
self in a far country. In a short time afterwards, he returned 
to Allt-fawr, and held meetings there for a long time. His 
son Morgan became a minister of the gospel, and in the time 
of persecution is supposed to have fied to England m disguise, 
to the spot where his father found the Lord gracious to his soul ; 
and should the anecdote we related in his biography be appli* 
cable to him, we are bound to say, 

•* Wonders of grace to God belong ; 
Repeat his mercies in your song.** 

It appears that Morgan and JoneS have been the names in 
this family, for many generations. They followed the ancient 
custom of the Welsh, viz. : when the father's name was Mor- 
gan Jones, the son's name would be John Morgan. But Grif- 
fith Jones, of whom we now speak, was named after his 
mother's father, and so the link was broken in the chain. For 
a wonder, his name was Griffith, and his son's name was Mor- 
gan Jones: more of him hereafter. His mother's father's 
name was Griffith Griffiths, a nobleman in the county of Car- 
marthen. His mother was a very pious woman; but her pa- 
rents were so much opposed to the Baptists, that they disin- 
herited her, and kept from her by force, what they could not 
deprive her of by law. When she was on her death-bed, she 
sent for her parents, and they came to see her. She requested 
them not to withhold from her dear husband and her mother- 
less children, that which was their right by law. Her mother 
advised her not to think of the things of this world, but to think 
of another world to which she was hastening. The daughter 
replied : *^ Dear mother, I have not left those im|.ortant things 
to the hour of death. I know in whom I have believed." And 
then she requested them to fulfil her request, as they would have 
to answer for their conduct before God, in the great day of 
judgment; Soon afterwards she cheerfully took her leave of 
them, her husband, her children, and others. She departed 

* Allt-fawr is the name of a farm, or tract of land, with some ho^ises \wi\t 
cm it \ how many we do not recollect^ 

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TBB WBL8S BAPTISTf. 105 

with joy, and in the fuH assurance of (kith. But her parenta 
did not comply with her request. 

John Morgan, the prodigal son, who went to England, was 
converted to God near Exeter. He returned to Allt-fawr, and 
held meetings there for a- long time. 

Morgan Jones, his son, a member of Swansea church, 
preached chiefly at Llanmadog; was ejected under Charles the 
second, and is supposed to have gone to America. 

Morgan Jones, his son, the third pastor of Swansea, died at 
that place. 

, Griffith Jones, his son, began . to preach in his father's 
church at Swansea, and afterwards, more particularly, to 
a branch of the same church at Penyfay. He became the 
pastor of the church at Hengoed, and afterwards t« America. 

Morgan Jones, his son, returned from America to Wales, 
and afterwards settled at Hampstead, England. 

Respecting Morgan Jones, Griffith Jones's father, we have 
to say, that he was one of the best of men, a good preacher, 
and was universally beloved by all that knew him; and more 
especially by the church at Swansea, of which he was pastor. 
By reason of the most horrid persecution, which he and his 
fttt^fathers endured, by heavy fines and imprisonment, he was 
not so rich in this world as his progenitors. The Allt-ftiwr has 
been sold : by whom and at what time we do not know. He 
was bora in 1662-P-the full meridian of that bloody perwMw- 
tion. Hq had felt and seen so much of the troubles of the time, 
and heard so much of the persecutions of his father, grand- 
father, and others, that, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
he was entirely weaned from the world and all its pomp and 
vanities. Griffith Davisf pastor of Swansea church, related to 
Mr. Thomas, of Leominister, the Welsh historian, the follow- 
ing anecdote respecting Morgan Jones. At a certain time, be- 
ing in debt to an individual, who was determined to put him 
into prison if he did not pay him that day, he was in great dis- 
tress; having not the least idea where he <5ould get the money. 
In this agony of mind, he withdrew to a secret place, to pour 
out his soul to God in prayer, that he might not bring a re- 
proach on the gospel. While he was at prayer, a certain man 
called, and told the family, that Sylvanus Beavan wanted to 
see Morgan Jones immediately. Accordingly, he went to Bea- 
van's, who was a member of the society of Friends, (commonly 
called Quakers,) and a very respectable storekeeper, in ths 
town of Swansea. " Well, friend Morgan," said the Quaker, 
" friend Pycard^ of Barnstable, requested me to pay thee a 



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lOfi HISTORY OF 

certain sum of money: here it is."* It was enough to pay thfe 
man, and a little over. 

Though Morgan Jones was naturally mildj meek, and ^asy 
in his manners; yet he was a man of very ready answer. H^ 
happened to call at a house, at Swansea, where there were iwd 
men disputing about religion. One of them was an Episcopa- 
lian; the other had lately embraced the sentiments of the Ro- 
man Catholics. " Well, my neighbor," said the EpiscopalianJ 
" I never was so glad to see you in my life." " What is the 
reason," said M. Jones. ^' My friend here is turned Papist," 
and he has the impudence to say, that the church of Rome i^ 
the true church, and that the church of England is a bastard." 
** Ho !" said Jones, " I have no reason to Ray any thing — I 
don't belong to either of them." " A good reason why,*' said! 
the Roman Catholic; " because you have nothing to say."l 
** O yes 1" said JoneSj " I have something to say. If the church 
of England is a bastard, the church of Rome must be a har- 
lot." Thus ended the debate. 

On the 29th of November, it being their ordinance ffay at 
Swansea, the good old man was too weak to preach; but ho 
administered the sacraraf^t of the Lord's supper, and, at the 
close, exhorted them, and prayed in so pathetic a manner, that 
there was not a dry face in the house. He told them that it 
was the last time that they should ever see him on earth, gave 
his Bibl© to one of the poor members of the church, and re- 
quested two other members to assist him home. He felt him- 
self too weak to walk* On his way home, he turned into a 
house belonging to one of his relatives, and there expired, 

Griffith Jones, son of the foregoing, began to preach in 1714. 
About 1726, took charge of the church of. Penyfay ; remove! 
to Hengoed ; from there to America, as stated before. There 
he became a member of the Welsh-tract church, and assfetant 
to David Davis, their pastor. He died in 1754, aged fifly-nine. 
There is an excellent elegy made on his death, in the Wdsh 
language, by Benjamin Fraucis, He preached chiefly at 
Brynsion, then a branch of the Welsh-tract. 

Dr. Thomas Llewdlyn, of London, was baptized and re- 
ceived a member of this church. He was a real friend to the 
Welsh, people in many respects. In his last years, he spent 
the greater part pf his time in Wales, though he resided in 
London. He was boni at Gelly-gar, Glamorganshire, and 
was baptized about the year 1738. He took a very activ« 

♦ It was a present from Friend Pycard to M. Jon«8. 

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THB WELSH BAPTISTS. 107 

part; on behalf of the WeldJbt.in order to get BiUes fi>r them, 
m. 1769, when the Welsh Bible was printed in liondon. Soon 
after Griffith Jones went to America^ there was a split in thi* 
^rch» on account of difference in sentiments. Charles Win- 
ter and several others, who imbibed the Arminian sentimmits, 
M the church, and formed Ihemselveo^into a general Baptilst 
church at Craigyfargoed. 

In 1753, Lewis James and Watkin Edward, both members 
of the church, who had been preaching for a considerable time 
before, were ordained. Lewis James became their pastor, 
and Watkin Edward his assistant. The former died in 1767. 
W, Edward was brought up a Presbyterian; but being con- 
vinced that believers' baptism is the baptism of the Bible, he 
went to IJengoed to be baptized and to join the church. Ro- 
ger Williains, his former minister, wrote a very friendly letter^ 
by him, to the Baptist church; and two of the Presbyterian 
members came with him, to see him baptized and received a 
member; and, on parting with him, they wept bitterly. Ho 
died in 1771, aged eighty-two. 

The church meet, every Lord's day, at Hengoed; they 
break bread every month. They preach every month, and 
break bread every three months, at Romney ; and often preach 
at the Berthlwyd. 

Hengoed Mimsftrs. 

1. Thomas Jones. ' ' ^■ 
Lewis Thomas, of Swansea, ^upfilied them for many years* 

2. Morgan Griffiths. Died 1738. 
David Rees went to I^ondon. Died 1748. 

3. Griffith Jories-^went to America. Died 1754. 

Assistant, Evan Edward. Died 1771. 
" Jenkin John. Died 1740. 
William Davis. and Thomas Williams went to Llantrisaint. 
Charles Winter went to Craigyfargoed. Died 1773. 

Assistant, David Lewis. Died 1767. 
Thomas Llewellyn went to London. 

4. Lewis James. 

Ordained assistant, Watkin Edward. 

RuTDWiLiM. William Jones, an ejected miinister, a prison- 
er for preaching the gospel of Christ, being convinced in the 
prisoa of Carniarthen, that believers' baptisna is the only bap- 
tism of the New T^stamenl, as soon as he was liberated from 
the 8iMd. prison, went immediately to OkhcH;!} nearly one^JiuAt 

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100 BISTORT OF 

dred miles, to be baptized. ' Returning to the 
Rhydwilim, (whence he was taken to prison in 1667,) ih 
warmest. and most severe period of the bloody persecution 
under t)\at monster, (commonly called king Charles the second,) 
he actually did baptize sixty-nine persons in six weeks ; whidi 
w&s the beginning of the Baptist church at that place. In a 
short time, eleven were added to them by baptism. On the 
12th day of the 6th month, they were regularly formed into a 
church, by William Prichard, of Llanwenarth, and Thomas 
Watkins, of Olchon. On the 13th day of the same moiith, 
William Jones and Griffith Howell were chosen elders, and 
Morgan Ryttrerch, or Prittroe, and Llewellyn John, deacons, 
like Israel in Egypt, the more they were persecuted; the 
more they increased. In the end of the year 1668, they num* 
bered forty-eight members. In 1669, nine were added to them 
by baptism. In 1671, one by baptism. In 1672, ten by bap- 
tism. In 1673, six by baptism. Some were added to them 
every year. Of the first sixty-nine baptized, only two weie 
known to have backdidden. 

In 1689, there were one hundred and thirteen metnbers: all 
of them commg out of that great tribulation— of that dreadfol 
persecution, under Charles the second. Fifleen of them were 
the first constituents, who lived to see a glorious harvest after 
a most severe winter. They had no less than eleven minis- 
ters, most of them poputttr men, and all eminent for piety and 
usefulness. They broke bread every month, at Rushacre and 
#Glandwr, and held their church meetings at Ynsfach, in the 
parish of Llandisilio, on the last* day of the week, (as they called 
Saturday,) in every month. At that time, their marriage cere- 
mony was performed in the meeting-house, and a certificate of 
the same entered on the church book, as follows: 

" We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, do certify 
whom it may concern, that L. P. and B. J., of the parish of 
D., dirf, in the presence of God, and of us his people, enter 
into the honorable state of matrimony, to live together accord- 
ing to his holy ordinance, until death shall them both separate. 



Griffith Howbll, 
Jambs Jambs, 
Thomas John, 
July 1st, 1682.'* ^ 



George Johk^ 
Hbnky Griffiths, 
Witnesses. 



John Evans, one of the members of this church, lost hit 
father when ho was young*. He was the youngest of three 
brothwi. His oldest brother was entitled to the real estalO' 

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THE WELSH lftA7TI9T8. 109 

the youngest was brought up for the church of England ; but 
being brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the instru- 
mentality of William Jones, the first pastor •f this church, he 
refused the honor and emoluments belonging to that establish- 
ment; which so much displeased his mother, that she was de- 
termined to turn him out pennyless ; for he was not entitled to 
any of his father's estate. The tithe of some parish was in- 
tended for him ; but before he was turned out, his mother hap- 
pened to hear him pray in some secret plaoe, for himself and 
for her, in such a fervent, afl^tionate manner, which had so 
much effect upon her, that John became her best son. She 
gave, him money to buy a farm for himself, which also he did. 
m a short time, his mother and his brothers died, and he be- 
came the sole proprietor of his father's real and personal estate* 
He built a large and convenient meeting-house on hrs own es- 
tate, and altogether at his own expense. He called it Rhyd- 
wilim, conveyed it over to the Baptists forever, and became an 
honorable member of the church. Godliness is profitable for 
all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and that 
which is to come. He gave, also, severabcw^res of land for the 
support of the ministry. He died in full assurance of faith, in 
1704. , 

Elisha Thomas belonged to this church, and was one of the 
sixteen, belogging to that church, who emigrated from Milford 
Haven, in South Wales, to Welsh-tract, in Pennsylvania. He 
was born in the county of Carmarthen, in 1674. He was i 
called to the work of the niinistry , and ordained at Welsh-tract, 
and became their pastor afler the death of T. Griffiths. Tho- 
mas, of Lcominister, thinks he was a son of Thomas David 
Rees, minister of this church. He died, November 7, 1730, 
ftnd was buried in the church-yard, where a handsome tomb 
was erected to his memory. 

Enoch Morgan was bom in the Alltgoch, in the parish of 
Llanwenog, county of Cardigan, South Wales, m 1676. He 
ivas brother to Abel Morgan, (author of the Welsh concord- 
■mce,) whose father's name was Morgan Prothroe, or Rydderch. 
He was a. member of this church — arrived in America with the 
Welsh-tract church, whereof he was one of the constituents. 
He took on him the care of the church, after the death of 
Elisha Thomas. He died in 1740, and was buried in the 
grave-yard, where a handsome tomb was erected to his memorj'. 
ffis son Abel was a minister in some other place in America. 

Owen Thomas was a member of this church. Ife was bom 
at Gwrgodllys, Cilmanllwyd parish, county of Carmarthen, in 
L691. He went to America in 1707, and took the pastoral 

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110 HISTORY OP 

care of the church at Welsh-tract, aAer the death of Enoch 
Morgan ; in which office he continued until 1748, when he re- 
signed to go to ^iincenty where he died in 1760» aged sixty* 
nine. He lefl behind him the following manuscript : 

^ I have been called upon three times, to andnt the sick 
with oil, for recovery. The e^ct was surprising in every 
case, but in none more so, than in th^ case of our brother, 
Rynallt Howell. He was so sore with the bruises which he 
received, by a cask falling on him from a waggon, that be 
could not tear to be turned in bed : the next day he went to 
meeting.*' 

David Davis was bom in the parish of Whitchurch, county 
of Pembroke, in 1708 — went to America when he was two 
years old — ^was ordained and became the pastor of Welsh-tract 
in 1734. He died in 1769. He was an excellent man, and 
is held dear in remembrance by .all who knew him. His 
widow was a daughter of Elisha Thomas. He left behind him 
six children: three sons and three daughters. Two of his 
sons were preachers. Jonathan was a Seventh-day Baptist. 
His son John supplied his father's church. 

Jenkin Jones was born at Llanfernach, within the bounds of 
this church, in 1690 — ^went to America in 1710 — was called | 
to the work of the ministry, at Welsh-tract, in 1724— was I 
chosen pastor of Penepeck church, in 1726 — ^r^oved from 
thence to Philadelphia, in 1746, where he labored in word and] 
Moctrine, until he died in 1761. 

James Davis, from this church, went to America, and formed' 
a: church at the Great Valley. He was one of the sixteen 
emigrants belonging to that church, mentioned before. 

Hugh Davis, the first pastor of the Great Valley church, 
was baptized and ordained in this church, before he went t(^ 
America.* 

John Davis, the second pastor of the Great Valley churchJ 
was born at Llanfernach, in 1702. Ho went to America iij 
1713 — called to the ministry in 1722 — was ordained in 1732-* 
was an assistant to Hugh Davis, until his death in 1753, alil 
afterwards became the pastor of the church. 

We have now before iis, Thomas's History of the Baptista in Wales, (fri 
which we translate,) and Benedict's History of the Baptist DenomiiiatioD 
America. Though they differ a little in two or three places, yet they are | 
nerally the same. 

In mamr parts of his work, Thomas seemed to be very anxious to i9ee i 
history of the Baptists in America. At the time he was writing the hiiMtf 
of Rhydwilim, it is probable that he either had seen Morgan Jones, or recei^ 
letters from America. — En. 

• See more of him, in the history of Newcaade, and of Swansea. 

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THS WELSH BAFTIdTS. Ill 

Joshua Jones was bom in the parish of Little Newcastle, . 
Pembrokeshire, in 1721 — went to America in 1726 — was or- 
dained over the. church at New Britain, Pennsylvania, in 1761, 
Morgan Griffiths went to Hengoed.* 
J^ui 1718, a new meeting-house was built within the 
bounds of this church, called Fynnonwellnabywch. ^ 

About the same time, David James and Philip John began 
to preach, and were ordained about 1718. Philip John died 
about 1720, and David James, about 1726. 

John Philips was baptized in 1720. Having exercised his 
gif^s for some time, he went to Brbtol college. He was the 
second student, under the tuition of Mr. Foskett, in that college. 
He. returned thence to Wales, and preached^ at Usk for some 
time. He went from that pla<5e to Wrexham, and thence to 
London; but he never settled any where. He was an excel- 
lent preacher, but of bad temper, which was against his minis* 
try. He lived to be an old man, and finished his course in 
1761. 

Thomas Mathias was baptized in 1701 — ^began to preach 
about 1704 — ^was ordained about 1710 — ^became the pastor of 
the church- about 1733, afler the death of John Jenkins, their 
late pastor. He was a pious> lively, and learned man. He 
was brought up for the church of England. He was well ac- 
quainted with both the English and Welsh languages ; and his 
memory being like an ocean, he could interpret an English 
sermon into Welshj.or Welsh into English, after any preacher ;t 
as the congregation often, in some parts of Wales, are made up 
of both Welsh and English people. He died in 1745, aged 
seventy-three. 

John Folk waa baptized in 1702. He was an assistant 
preacher. Died about 1740. 

Dr. Philip James was bom in Carmarthenshire, and brought 
up for the church of England; but bdng under serious impres- 
sions, upon the most mature deliberation, he relinquished the 
idea of being an Episcopal minister; which so much offended 
his parents, that they turned him out of doors unprovided fbr» 
and entirely disinherited him* It was in the heat of persecu- 
tion — 1685. He went to Liverpool, and hired himself to one 
of the Baptists, of the name of Dr. Fabus ; and, while in his 
house, he turned out to be very useful, both to the souls and 
to the bodies of his fellow creatures. In Liverpool he was btup- 
tized, and became both Dr. and minister of the gospel. He 
manied Lawrence Spooner'a daughter. He preached at War- 

* 8m the bietory of Hengoed churelL 

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112 BISTORT OF 

wick for some time, and moved from there to Hampstead, near 
London, and was the pastor of that church for thirty years. 
He di^ in 1748, aged eighty-four. His son Samuel was a 
Baptist minister at Hitchin, in the same county. 

Afler the death of J. Mathias, the church was without a pastor, 
though there were two ordained ministers among them — ^David 
Richards and John James: th^ former was ordained «n 1726, 
and the latter in 1734. Daniel Gamon, Evan Davis, David 
Lewis, and John Griffiths, were assistant preachers. 

In 1745, the church and congregation heing too numerous to 
he contained in one house, they were divided. John James be- 
came the pastor of Rhydwilim, and D. Richards, the pastor of 
the new-formed church at Llanglophan. All the assistant 
preachers joined the new church, except John Griffiths. John 
James was a good preacher, but was by no means popular. 
He died in the Lord, rejoicing in the truth, and was buried 
at Castlebeith. The following words are on his tombstone : 

" Here lieth the body of John James, the preacher at Rhyd- 
wilim, who departed this lifb, the 4th of February, 1760, aged 
sixty-two years. 

Earth on earth, diicera me well, 
When earth to earth ahall go to dwell. 
Then earth in earth shall close remain. 
Till earth from earth ahall cmne again,** 

David Thomas, of Llanglophan was their next pastor. The 
work of the Lord prospered in his hand. A great many were 
added to the church. • In the space of the eight years that he 
was in Rhydwilim, he baptized one hundred and twenty-seven* 
But he most awfully fell, and was excluded. ^' Let us nol be 
high-minded but fear. Let him that thinketh he standeth, take 
heed lest he falL** 

Benjamin Morgan began to preach in 1761— went to Bristol 
college in 1762 — ^went to Kingstanley in 1765 — ^was ordained 
there in 1767 — went to Cornwall in 1770, and thence to Gam« 
lingay, one of the churches of John Bunyan. From that place 
he went to Ashford, in Kent, in 1777. 
^ Joshua Thomas, a member of this church, having exercise! 
his gifts for some time, went to Bristol college, in 1766, r©* 
ceived a call from the church at Lymington, and was very 
prosperous, uiitil he died in 1769, 

Their next pastor was Greorge Rees, from Llanglophani whA 
took charge of them in 1775. 

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THB WlUm BAPTI9T8. 113 

Rhyduilim MiniHert. 

WilHam Jones. 

Griffith Howelh 

Thomas David Reea. 

George John. 

James James. 

Evan Davis. 

John Jenkins. 

Richard Williams went to Maesyberllan. 

John Davis, assistant preacher. 

Thomas Griffiths went to America. 

Samuel John. 

All these came from the persecution. 
Morgan Griffiths went to Hengoed. 
Thmnas Mathias. 
Philip John. 
David James. 
John Philips. 

Griffith William9 went to Moleston. 
John Folk. 
Evan Jenkins. 

Dr. Philip James went to Hampattead. 
John James. 

David Richard went to Llaugbphan. 
Daniel Gamon. 
Evan Davis. 
David Lewis* 
Benjamin Morgan went to Kent, England. 
Joshua Thomas. " 1769. 

David Thomaa-ir-excluded! 
George Rees. 
John Griffithse 
Daniel John. 
Jamea Williams. 

Rbboboth CmmeB was a branch cf RhydwMim. When 
this churdi was fi>rmed, u^ 1668, their chief jD^ace of worship 
W9« Glandwr, in the par^htif Llandysul. They also met to 
worship in many other places, within the bounds of the church : 
«i}ch as, Ty^^y^^^^^ 9wleb<^, Felyndi©, and Newcastle, 

Mary Jones, of Uanllwny, was the first that was baptized 
in this r^on, on the 4th day of the 6th month, 1667. As 
Lydia was the &nt that waa bapdaed ip Macedonia, and so fa^^ 

» w»' ' Digitized by LjOOQIC 



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114 R16T0SY or 

as we know, in Europe; .ao this good woman was the b^^ 
niog of the Baptist interest in these parts, since the refbrmaUon. 
Elizabeth Griffiths, Thomas David Rees, Mox^an Rydderch, 
and several more, soon followed. * 

Thomas David Rees was their first pastor.* Evan Davii 
was an ordained assistant. 

Next to him was James James.t 

Several of the members of this church went to America, and 
formed themselves into a church, at a place called Montgomery, 
Pennsylvania. Benjamin Griffiths became their pastor, and 
Joseph Eaton his assistant: the former was ordained in 1725; 
the latter, in 1727. Benjamin Griffiths was bom in the parish 
of Llanllwny, in 1688 — went to America in 1710 — was bap- 
tized, in that country, in 1711. He was brother to Abel Mor* 
gan, on the mother's side, but not of the same father. 

Abel Griffiths, his son, was bom in 1733 — baptized in 1744 
—ordained in 1761 — ^the same year chosen pastor of the 
church at Brandywino — removed thence to Salem, in Jersey. 

Nathaniel Jenkins, also, was a member and a preacher in 
this church. He preached mostly, at that branch called Llan- 
llwny. He and his forefathers lived at the Bwlchog, where the 
meeting had been held for a long time. He was a very useful 
and acceptable preacher, throughout Wales. His name is in 
the minutes of the Rhydwilim association, in 1701. I have 
not been able to find where he was baptized, nor when he be- 
gan to preach. While in Wales, he was truly a hospitable 
man, according to the Welsh sense of the word. We have 
heard but little of him since he went to America. Abel Hfor-t 
gan, in 1702, writing to one of his friends in Wales, says-^" I 
have to go about one hundred and twenty miles, in the month 
of May, to form a church at Cape May, West Jersey, where 
brother Nathaniel Jenkins is to settle as pastor.** Griffith 
Jones, in one of his letters, dated 1750^ says — " I have been to 
Jersey, and have seen brother Nathaniel Jenkins: he is yet 
alive." Writing again, in 1764, he says — *' Last May, Na- 
thaiaiel Jenkins, a faithful servant of Jesus Christ, died." The 
three letters are now before me on the table. iVs I have not 
seen Morgan Edwards's History of the American Baptists, this 
is all that I can say about him. He has left many friends in 
Wales, whose children and grand^children would be very glad 
to hear something more of him. J 

Since writing the foregoing, we have oMisuked Benedict's Hia- 

• See hi« biography. tSee bi0 biogrmphf. 

t Thomas's tfistoiy of cha Baptifits so Wafca, p. 374. ^^ 

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THB WBLSB BAmOTB. 115 

tory of theBaptist Denomination in America, and take the libMy, 
once more, of borrowing from brother Benedict, that which^ we 
hopey will not make him, nor any of his posterity, the poorer. 
" Cope Mayt The foundation of this church was laid in 
1675, when a compaijy of emigrants, from England, arrived in 
the Delaware, and some of them settled at the Capes. Among 
these were two Baptist^ whose'^names were George Taylor and 
Philip Hill. Taylor kept a meeting at his house, until his- 
death in. 1701. Hill kept up the meeting until 1704, when he 
also died. After this, the few brethren who had been collected 
here, were visited by George Eaglesfield, Elies Keach, Thomaa 
Griffiths, and Nathaniel Jenkins: the last of whom hecamQ 
the pastor of the church, which was constituted in 1712. Jen^ 
kins was a Welshman, born in Cardiganshire, 1678 — arrived 
in America in 1710, and two years after settled at the Cape^ 
He was a man of good parts and tolerable education; and 
quitted himself with honor, in the loan office, whereof he was a 
trustee; and, also, in the Assembly, particularly in 1721, 
whea a bill was brought in ' to punish such as denied the doc^ 
trine of the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, the Inspiration of 
tl^ Holy Scriptures,' &c. In opposition to which, Jenkins 
slpod up, and in the warmth and accent of a Welshman, said 
— * I l)elieve the doctrines in question, as firmly as the promo- 
ters of that ill-designed bill, but will never consent to oppose 
the oppoeers' by law, or with any other weapon, save that of 
argument,' &c. Accordingly the bill was suppressed, to the 
great mortification of those who wanted to raise in Jersey, the 
spirit that so raged in New England." 

Thoinas Davis, a brother to John Davis, of Great Valley, 
went from this region to America — wsts born in the parish of 
Llanfemach, county of Pembroke, in South Wales, in 1707—.- 
arrived in America in 171 3t— was ordained at Great Valley-r- 
preached at Hopewell about four years — then resigned to go to 
Oyster Bay, on Long Island. He died at Yellow Springs, on 
the 15th of February, aged seventy years. 

After the death of Evan Davis, and Nathaniel Jenkins hav- 
ing gone to America, J. James, the pastor, lost most of. his 
assistants. But in 170B, the Lord of the harvest was pleased 
to rause up in this church, one of the most pious, most popular, 
and most excellent men, that ever was in Wales, or, perhaps, 
in any other part of the world. His name was Enoch Francis. 
He was born at Pantyllaethdy, on the river Teify. He became 
a member of this diurch when very young, and began to 
precuih at the ag&af nineteen, at a plaoe called Pengwyn, in the 
parish! of Llaullwny^ from the 55th chapter of Isaiah. We 

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110 BItTOSY OF 

hare not been able to tscertain at what time he waa ordained, 
but it must have been some time before.the year 1729; ibir he 
preached at the association of Llanglophan, that year, from 
Cant. 6:12. The ministers and messengers, there present, 
were so much delighted with his sermon, that they unanimous- 
ly, and most urgently, requested him to publish it; and he re- 
hictantly complied with their reques!? It is entitled, "The 
Work and Reward of faithful Ministers of the Gospel." Some 
time afterwards, he published a book on the peculiar senti- 
ments of the Baptist denomination, called, " Gair 3rn ei bryd,'' 
(A word in Season): So called,, because the sentiments of 
James Arminius were spreading in some parts of Wales, at 
that time; particularly about Hengoed and Newcastle. Per- 
haps it is the best on that subject, on account of the meek and 
lowly spirit, and- the great apd wonderful love to Christ, the 
truth, and souls of his fellow creatures, which is manifested 
therein. It is published, of. course, in Welsh. At this time 
there was a great revival in the church, and people generally 
Hocked to hoar Enoch Francis, from twenty and thirty miles 
around. In that revival, he often baptized at that distance, in 
many places. This most wonderful work of God spreacLso 
rapidly, and so powerful was the sword of the Spirit, in Ihe 
hands of Enoch Francis and others, that it became mighty 
through God, to pull down the strong hold of Satan. Young 
people, calling thcma-^lves members of the church of England, 
(for no other reason, than that they had been sprinkled in their 
infancy, in the steeple-house,) had been generally in the habit 
of meeting together on the Lord's day, to amuse themselves by 
drinking, dancing, and fighting, were excited, out of mere cu- 
riosity, to hear Enoch Francis, to see the baptizing, and to 
have something to say about the revival. But, to their great 
surprise, they heard him thundering, like a Boanerges, against 
cursers, swearers, fighters, liars, and Sabbath-breakers; and 
scattered, as it were, the sparks of hell in the midst of them, 
and directed them to look, by faith, to the .Ueeding Lamb of 
God, that taketh away the sin of the wgrtd; so that many of 
them were pricked to the heart. The news spreading about, 
that Saul also was among the prophets, induced many more to 
come out to see; and while returning home, they could say, 
that they had seen the glory o£ Christ, by the eye of fai^h, and 
felt the power of God in their souls. 

At this time, Howell Harris, Daniel Rowtand, \Wlliam Wil- 
iiams, Peter Williams, Howell Davis, (aH cleimrmen of the 
lestablished church of England,) comm^iceA mailing through- 
put the Principality; and much good w^ qrae tluough t^r 

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TBB WSL8H BAPTI0T». 117 

instrumentality. The Presbyterians, also, began to shake 
ttemaelves from their lethargy, and to quit their stiff and for- 
aanal manner^ of preaching. And many souls were added unto 
them, of such as are eternally saved ;*" so that all Wales 
•eemed to be on fire. 

At this very period, in the full meridian of that revival, 
JSnoch Francis died and went to heaven, aged only fifty-one 
years. CTwhat a shock! what consternation! what agitation! 
Fire and water seems to be in motion ! The whole territory 
of Cambria trembles ! But a voice from heaven says, ** Be 
atill, and know that I am God." 

Death gave him the mortal blow, while he was preaching at 
Fishguard, from Psalm 73 : 25, 26. His dear wife died a few 
months before him. So he led six fatherless and motherless 
children behind him: all of them young — not brought up to 
maturity. But God, who has promised to be a husband to the 
^dow, and a father to the fatherless, took care of his children, 
and made them all partakers of that godliness, which has tho 
promise of the life that now is, and that which is to come. 

Two of his sons, Jonathan and Benjamin, became Bapt»t 
ministers: the latter, it is said, was very mu6h like his father. 
The other son, a very pious young man, died at the age of 
eighteen. One of his daughters was married to Stephen Davia, 
Baptist minister at Carmarthen. The other two daughters 
were married in the county of Glamorgan, in good drcu^ 
stances. Some of his grandsons and great-grandsons, wl^ 
also in the. ministry. . r 

After the death of Enoch Francis, three of the four assistant 
preachers were ordained — ^Thomas David Evans, John David 
Nicholas, and Rees Jones. They were ordained at the TynewJ 
ydddanyralitfawr, in 1740, dvtfiith Jones, assistant. In the 
same year, Evan Saunders, John Thomas, and Timothy Tho- 
mas, began to preach. The same God who took off the pillar 
held up the house. About the year 1742, Griffith Jones was 
ordained. In 1747, David Thorras was ordained. In 1766, 
Samuel George began to preach— was ordained at Wantage, 
EIngland, and died there in 1767, aged thirty-three years : ho 
was buried there. The following epitaph is on his tombstone: 

«* To the memory of the Rev. Samuel George, pastor of tho 
Christian church, at Wantage, in this county. He lived, justly 

* So far as we know, there waa no other denomination in Walea at thai 
time, except a few Qiiakera. Since ^at time, the Methodiatt ( 
Uece. 

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118 BZ8T0ST OF 

esteemed for his piety and usefulness; and died, justly lament 
ed, in the 33d year of his age, May. 14, I767, 

The preacher, whose so early death we moum, 
Here, in deep silence, speaks our great codcem.** 

In 1767, Zecharias Thomas began to preach, but sod 
moved to Bethel.* Hitherto, the main body of the phurch hd 
no meeting-house, but as there was a great revival in the paridi 
of Cilrhedyu, within three miles of the town, a meeting-house 
was built in that parish, called Panteg, in 1764.t There is a 
good bur3dng-ground adjoinining. 

In 1765, David Evans was ordained. 

In 1778, James Thomas was ordained pastor of the church 
—John Davisi assistant. 

Rehcibotk MimsUrs. 

1. Thomas David Ilees« 

Assistant, Evan David. 

2. James James. 

3. Enoch Francis. 

Assistant, William Evans — joined the 

church of England. 
Assistant, Abel Francis. 
Evan Saunders went to Aberduar. 
Thomas David Evans went to Aberduar. 
Rees Jones went to Aberdeen. 
V Ordained assistant, John D. Nicholas. 
Griffith Thomas. 

Timothy Thomas went to Aberduar. 
Zecharias Thomas went to ifberducur. 
Samuel George went to England. . " 1767. 

David Thomas. 
David Evans. 
James Thomas. 
John Davis. 

P. £L Some time after this, there was a division at P^udtegi 
about doctrine. The party that imbibed Arminian sentiments 
kept the meeting-house; and the Regular Baptist church built 
a new meeting-house, and called it Rehoboth. It is witiuo cid» 
mile of Panteg. Therefore the church is now known by that 
name. 

* 8oe tbe biitotf of that pkc«. 

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Died 1700- 


<c 


1706, 


<i 


1734. 


it 

i 


1740, 


u 


1743. 


<c 


1743. 


(C 


1766, 


<c 


1767. 


u 


1763. 


(( 


1763. 


c< 


1768. 



THE WBLSH BAPTISTS* lit 

Blai^nau Church, in the ootinty of Monmouth was con* 
stttuted in 1660. It had been a branch of Llanwenarth 
for many years- It was gathered by W. Prichard, Du 
Price, and Lewis Thomas.* This church suffered much by 
bitter persecutions. At that time, they were obliged to meet 
to i¥orship God in the fields, the woods, and the rocks of the 
mountains, like many of their brethren. Sometimes, however, 
they ventured to meet in some private houses. They oflen 
met at the house of Nest Llewellyn. Though she was fre- 
quently dragged before the higher powers, to answer for her 
crimes; yet she was not at all daunted, but Lydia-like she in-^ 
vited the disciples of Christ to her house. She neither feared 
their threatenings and frowns, nor courted their smiles, let the 
consequences be-what they might. Morgan Williams, an as- 
sistant preacher among them, sometimes held meetings at his 
O'wn house, of course as secret, as possible. Near his house 
they used to baptize. Afterwards the meetings were held in 
the house of Watkin Harris, until the meeting-house was built. 
Their first settled psistor was Abel Morgan.f Their second 
pastor was William Philips, who had been a deacon of the 
church for a long time, and had been in the ministry for many 
years before. Abel Morgan went to America. He was or- 
dained in 1711, and died in 1730. He was a very useful man, 
and much respected as a minister and as a citizen. He was a 
most excellent mechanic, and above all, he was a good minis- 
ter of Jesus Christ. 

The third pastor was John Harris. He was ordained^in 
February, 1714, and took charge of the church in Noveit^fcer, 
1731. Miles Harris preached on the occasion, from Psalm 
78:72. He died on the 28th of December, in 1737. He was 
firm in the faith ; a great advocate for the truth ; given to hos- 
pitality ; and very laborious in the work of his heavenly Mas- 
ter- He had the honor of baptizing his own father. The 
meeting- house' was built in 1715. 

Their fourth pastor was Morgan Harris, son of their late 
pastor. He was baptized at the age of fifleen ; began to preach 
when he was very young; was ordained in 1735 ; took charge 
of the church in 1737. On the same day, Thomas Edwards 
was ordained his assistant. He was a learned man, brought 
up at Bristol college, but he was not a healthy man. He was 
weak in body, but strong in mind. He was an acceptable 
preacher at home and through the Principality. He soon 

• See their biographr. t See his biography. 

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120 BUTOST OP 

iHushed the wofk the Lord gave him to do. He finished his 
course in 1746, aged forty-two, 

• The fifth pastor was Edmund Watjcins, who ha4 he»i a 
preacher among them several years. He was ordained in 
1747 ; but he was not able to be so usefiil among them as was 
desirible, as he was living 'so far fironi Uiem^— at least twenty 
miles* At the same time, he was much beloved by them, and 
by all who knew him. He labored hard to serve them, until 
be died in the Liord, with his eyes seeing his salvation. 

Auistant Minitiers. 

Morgan Williams. 

Moses Llewellyh-*-baptized 1699— began to preach 1701 — 
died 1745. 

Henry Evans — baptized 1700— began to preach 1710 — 
gave up preaching. ^ 

Miles Harris— died 1776. 

Thomas Edwards— died 1769. 

William Thomas— died 1757. 

Evan Harris — ^baptized 1738 — began to preach 1740— not 
knpwn when he was ordained. 

William Morgan went to Salop— died 1753. 

Evan Jones — began to preach 1744 — ^gave up preaching. 

Rees Evans went to Penygam — ^began to preach 1745 — died 
1768. 

William Watkins went to Somerset, England— died 1768. 

^fies Vaughan. 

Maurice Jones was ordained in 1774. 

William Thomas. 

John Thomas. 

Maesybebuan Chubch, in the county of Brecon, was 
gathered by Henry Morris,* in the time of persecution under 
Charles the second. At first they met, (even while the snow 
was deep,) in the open air, under the canopy of heaven, by 
night, to worship God; and terrible were their sufferings in 
many other respects. But they were not regularly formed 
until 1699, At that time, William Prichard, of Llanwenartb, 
preached often in this region. Most of the <»iginat constituents 
were originally under his pastoral care. Richard Williams, of 
Rhydwiliro, was their first pastor.f 

* See hit biogivpbjr. 

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THE WBLSB BXrtWJS. 121 

The second pastor was'^Philip Morgan, m^ b^an to pseach 
ibout 1721 1 was ordained in 1731, being tbtrty-seven years old* 
bon aAer this time, a revival commenced, and a great many 
P^e added to them. Now Zion's tent was enlar^d, and the 
nttain of her habitation stretched forth. She bnke forth on 
|e right band and on the le&'; and great was the labor <^ their. 
Iistof. AH the Baptist churches in Wales, at tlus ^roe, were 
»• the. practice of laying on of haiids on the baptized. But 
Krhile their minister was once examining the candidates for 
toptism, a certain young man Said, that he was not satisfied 
respecting that practice. He did not believe that it was an or- 
iinance ordained by Christ to be continued in his cburch. 

Kit he wish^ to Imve more time to consider it. ThU natu* 
y led them all to think on the subject. The consequence was, 
Mt their minister, and William Herbert, the assistant preach* 
»r, and several of the members, became decidedly against it ; 
ind the other members were so much for it, that they could 
not be in (ellowship. At last it was brought before the asso» 
:iation, and finally' consi**ered not to be a bar of communion* 
In .1746, tl^ey built a meeting-house, and called it Maes-y-ber« 
llan. They met beforo in several dwelling-houses, in barns, 
ind often in the t>pen air, when the weather was favorable. 
* After the death of Philip Morgan, in 1770, John Thomas,' 
From Aberduar, became their pastor. The cause was very low 
(vhen he took theiT charge. Afterwards there was. a gradual 
ncrease. After that, however, there was a decrease for four 
>r five years, when quite a revival broke out suddenly* 

Assistant Ministers. 

Rees Williams — began to preach 1721 — died 1759. 

William Herbert was baptized 1731^— began to preach 1736 
—ordained 1738 — dted 1742. 

WHliam Williams*— died 1771. 

Recs Vaughamf 

John Morgan began to preach 1743. 

Joshua Thomasf^— began to preach 1744^-ordained 1749 
— went to Leominister. • 



♦ See Olchon. t See Bbenao. 

t Joahtia Thomas vrht baptized at Lcominiatcr, in the county of Herelbr^ 
Snghind— was regularly 'dismissed from there- tir 'Maesyberllan. in 1746— re- 
umed to Leominister, and became the pastor of the church there, in 1754. 
ie wrote the History of tbe^ Baptists in Wales, and labored with much accep. 
Mice at Leominister, until his death. His son. Timoihy ThonM» was tM 
mstot of the church at Devonshire Square, Loimoo. 
11 

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122 HWTOBY OF 

Zechariah Thomas.* 

Thomas Philips — baptized 1762 — began to preach 1764.t 

William Williama— K>rdaiiied 1768. 

Glascwm CHFSCHy ki the county of Radnor. It appears i 
ihat the first Baptist minister that preached in this r^dn, was! 
Vavasor Powelj who commenced in 1^36. After the year 
1640, the gospel was regularly preached through the whde 
<x>unty, and many, by tlw grace of God brought to the know' 
ledge of the truth. Among the many difficulties under wbicb 
the Baptists labored at that time, not being sufiered to bury 
their dead in the proper grave-yards, was considered by thera 
a piece of cruehy. Sometimes their bodies were taken m\ 
from their graves, by those blood-thirsty hounds in humafi 
form, in many places— such as, Newbridge, Leohiinister, Fein- 
bridge, &c.; so that they were obliged to bury in their o^n 
gardens by night. To remove that difficulty, in this region, 
John Lewis, a man of considerable landed property, encfcsed 
a piece, or spot of ground, for the Baptists fo bury their dead; 
in which he and his posterity have been buried to this day. 
His son, Thomas Lewis, became the pastor of the church, and 
the only pastor it ever had, though it existed more than one 
liundred years. It is now extinct. The sum of one hundred 
pounds was bequeathed, by a relation of T. Lewis, for the sup- 
port of the Baptist interest here, or the next' Baptist ehurch to 
it. The church of Builth enjoys the benefit of it now, on con- 
dition that their minister shall preach once a month in tliis to- 
gion; which he has done for several years, apparently to no 
purpose. May the Lord revive his work in those parts. Tho- 
mas Lewis died in 1735. 

CiLFowYR Church, in the county of Pembroke. . Accord- 
ing to sacjed and ecclesiastical history, it appears that a woman 
of the name of Lydia, was the beginning of the Baptist 
churches in Europe; and that a woman of the name of Clau- 
dia, was the means of introducing the ga«;pel into Great Bri- 
tain, among the Welsh nation. A woman of the name of 
Mary Jones, was the beginning of the Baptist interest in that 
region where Rehoboth church sojourned for many years; and 
a woman of the name of Lettis Morgans, was the first that was 
baptized in the neighborhood of Cilfowyr.- She was baptized 
sometime, before the year 1668, because her name is amon^ 
the original constituents of the church at Rhydwilim, which 

* See Abcrduar. • t Sec Caricon, 

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TUB WELSH BAPTISTS. . 123 

was formed in that year. John Philips Cilcaih, however, was 
the means of bringing Baptist preaching here. The meetings 
were held, and the church was formed at his house, in 1704. 
It had been a branch of Rhydwilim for many years* The 
constituents of this church were thirty-six males, and thirty- 
two females — sixty-eight in ndmber.* 

Soon after a revival commenced, and a great many were 
added to them for three years, with a gradual increase to this 
day. Thus they travelled onward ,^ under the shining beams 
of the sun, until the year 1714, when the clouds were dark- 
ened, and threatenings and fears increased in equal proportion ; 
but most fervent and ardent prayer prevailed. Queen Ann 
died, and Greorge the first ascended the throne, on the first day 
of August, 1714. The Baptists in Wales kept that day as a 
day of thanksgiving for many years. After these clouds were 
scattered, they built themselves a meeting-house, in 1716. 
James Morgans, the eon of Edward Morgans, and the said 
Lettis Morgans, gave the ground for building the house, and 
•for a large grave-yard. After the death of their first pastor, 
Samuel John, they became more like the troubled sea than the 
deep and still waters : not for want of means, but by reason of 
abundance, TJiey had three ministers, James Williams, John 
Richards, and David Thomas. Part of the church wante3' 
James Williams to be their pastor, and the other part wanted 
David Thomas. This dispute ended in a separation. Their 
case being before the association, and every means employed 
for their reconciliation to no purpose, it was therein unani- 
mously resolved, that if either of the parties would not adhere 
to the advice of the association, they shbuM have no fellowship 
with them ; and if any minister, or any church, should coun- 
tenance that party, they should have no fellowship with the 
association. It was also resolved, that a special prayer-meet- 
ing should be held in every church belonging to the connec- 
tion, throughout Wales, on the same day, to pray for their 
reconciliation. These resolutions had the desired effect. The 
church considered the advice of the association. They met 
for prayer, on the day appointed, as well as other churches. 
They humbled themselves before God, confessed their sins, and . 
were reconciled to one another, and agreed that the two minis- 
ters should be co-i^astors of the church. In the next associa- 
tion, it was resolved, that all the churches should meet on the 
same day, to return thanks to Almighty God for the reconcilia- 
tion of this church. Thus they progressed, until the old man, 

* See the biography of Samuel John, the first pastor of this church. 

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IIM KItTCmY OF 

James Wflliams, liecame weak aad feeble. Then Dttnd 
Thomas was chosen sole pastor of the church* James Wil- 
liams was baptized in 1696, and died in 1744. Af^ this for 
many years, the church increased greatly in number and gifts. 
Several young men were called to the wock of the ministiy, 
and the pleasure of the Liord pfospered in their hands. 

David Thomas was a good, faithful, and able minist^ of 
Jesus Christ; much respected in the church and in the world, 
&r and near; well received as an acceptable minister. He 
was of great service in the associations, and oflen manifested! 
a great deal of patience blended with courage. He served the 
church, in the work of the ministry, forty-eight years. He 
idied in 1773. 

In 1769, this church built another meetiifg-house, called 
Ferwig, within two miles of the town of Cardigan. Preaching 
is held there every Sabbath, and the ordinance of the Lord^ 
supper is administered every two months, by David Bvansand 
Lewis Thomas, co-pastors. 

Assistant Ministers. 

John Morgan — baptized 1705 — died 1760. • 

John Richard*— died 1768. 

William Williamsf— died 1771. 

James Lodwig — began to preach 1742 — ordained 1761— 
died 1762. 

David Evans— began to preach 1742 — ordained 1761^- 
died 1773. 

Nicholas Edward — died 1760. 

William Williams — began to preach 1762.| 

Thomas Henry — began to preach 1763.§. 

David Evans — ordained 1771. || • ' 

Thomas Davis — began to preach 1763. • 

David Evans — began to preach 1763 — -became pastor a^ler 
D. Thomas. 

Lewis Thomas — began to preach 1742— rordained ITftl— 
becamfe co-pastor with D. Evans. . 

P. S. As several are gone from this region to America» we 
will mention a few of them. 

David Philips, pastor of Peter's Creek church, was a native 

* See Ebenezer. t See Olchon and MaeciyberllaB. 

X S^ Ebenezer. $ See Ebenezer. 

tiSeeDolau. 

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of tli» part of Wales, lu^ we beUeve, of CSeam^ the wry 
house where this church was formed.* 

William Hiomas was bom at Uanweaarth, South Walesa- 
went to America from the pari«}h of Bed welldy— arrived iB the 
Western World in 1712 — was a member of Blaenaugwent— ^ 
became an assistant preacher in Mcuatgomery church — and 
labored among them, until he died in 1757. 

Francis Evan Francis, a cousin of Enoch Francis, went to 
America some time before the year 1689. 

John Griffiths, in one of his letters dated 176a, says, that 
John Davis, the pastor of the Baptist church at a place called 
Baltimore, Maryland, was a near relation of the late Enoch 
Francis, in Wales. It is therein stated, that he was the first 
pastor of that church, and that he was an excellent preacher. 

Lewis Richards was bom in this region, in the parish of 
Llanbadam, in the county of Cardigan. He belonged to Lady 
Huntington's connection. He was baptized, and became a 
noted preacher in North America* 

Enoch Davis, a Seventh-day Baptist, preached chiefly at 
French Creek, thirty miles from Philadelphia. 

" In the year 1737, the following Baptist members of the 
Weteh-tract church, which was then in the province of Penn* 
sylvanta, but now in the state of Delaware, arrived at Welsh* 
fleck; viz.: James James, Esq., and wife, and three sons, 
Philip, who was tfeeir minister, Abel, Daniel, and their wives ; 
Daniel Devonald and wife; Thomas Evans and wife; one 
other of the same name and his wife ; John Jones and wife ; 
three of the Harrys — ^Thomas, David, John and his wife; 
Samuel Wilds and trife; 'Samuel Evans and wife; Griffith 
Jones and wife; and David and Thomas Jones and their 
wives. These thirty members, with their children and house* 
holds, settled at a place called Catfish, on Pfedee river, but they 
soon removed about fifty rniles higher up the same river, where 
they made a permanent isettleAient, and where they all, except 
James James, Esq., who died at Catfish, were embodied into a 
church, January, 1788, 

James James, "Esq., was tbe most distinguished of this com- . 
pany of emigrants, for he was the head of the party, and his 
son Philip becajne^ the pastor of the church. Of him I can 
learn no moie, than that he died at Catfish. His son Philip, 
the first pastor of the Welsh-neck church, was bom near Pen- 
nepeck, Pennsylvania, in 1701: he was ordained over the 

* See Geoigii Joim*a hiogmfHnf, 



,y Google 



iAxurch ia 1749^ by MoMm Chnzd^ and fiKimiioD8» aai 
in 1753. 

This venerable noan passed through a vei^ singular 
about three months before his death; the narrative is reialQ 
in full by Mr. Edwards, but we shall be able to give only tk 
substance of it here, which is as follows: He was greatij 
afflicted for the death of a favorite child, and bewailed his lof 
in the language of David, ' O Abel, my son, my son, would \ 
God I had died for thee,' &c. In the midst of his wailings fa 
fell to the ground as if de^d, and was taken up ^nd put on tk 
bed, where he continued for near an hour, without any sigfl 
of life. When he revived and saw the people about him weep- 
ing, he bid them desist, adding, ' had you seen what I have 
seen^ you would not be in trouble about the dear little one** 
His wife and the company urged him to tell what he had seen 
concerning the child. He was reluctant to it, but their impor- 
tunity prevailed, and he went on, * The child now enjoys more 
happiness in one moment, than com[>ensales for all the mise- 
ries he endured through life, and the pangs of death also.' He 
then related how he had been transported by a celestial con- 
ductor to the paradise of God, where he was chidcd for hia 
excessive grief, and saw his child in the full stature of a man, 
in company with the angelic hosts, and uniting in their songs 
of praise. At length his conductor said to him, '^I am one«f 
that company, and must join them.' Havip^ said this, the -en- 
tranced spirit began to sink fast, and soon found itself united 
with the body. This account is preserved by the family, anS 
signed by four respectable witnesses.* After this vision, the 
old man minded no worldly thing, but» was full of heavenly 
joy, and attentive only to spiritual concerns. 

Samuel Harris, of Welsh extraction, was born in Hajiover 
county, Virginia, January 12, 1724. Few men could boast of 
more respectable parentage. His education, though not the 
most liberal, was very considerable for the customs of that day. 
When young, he moved to the county of Pittsylvania ; and aa 
he advanced in age, became a favorite with the people a^ well 
as with the rulers. He was appointed Church Warden, Sbc- 
riff, a Justice of the Peace, Bu^ess for the county, Colonel ol 
the Militia, Captain of Mayo Fort, and Commissary for" the 
fort and army. All these things, however, he counted bul 
(lro8S, that he might wi^ Christ Jesus, and beconne a jaiinialei 



^ Edi^Mrds'a Ma Hiitorjr, Bul, pp. 19, 20. 



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THU W«UUi BAPTItTf. 12^ 

If lib woid among the BapUstt: n seet at that time ev^ry wh^ia 
ipokeo a^inst. 

; His conversion was efiected in the following way: He first 
beeame serious and melancholy without . knowing why. By 
leading and conversation he discovered that he was a -helpless 
mnner» and that a sense of his guilt was the true cause of his 
gloom ©f mind. Pressed wiih this conviciioni he ventured to 
attend Baptist preaching. On one of his routes to visit the 
forts, in his official character, he called at a small house, where 
he understood there was Baptist preachingi The preachers 
were Joseph and William Murphy, at that time commonly 
called Murphy's boys. Being equipped in his military dress,^ 
he was not willing to appear in a conspicuous place. God, 
nevertheless, found liim out by liis Spirit. His convictions 
now sunk so deep, that he was no longer able to conceal them. 
He left his swoi'd and other parts of his equipments, some in 
one place and some in another. The arrows of the Almighty 
stuck fast in him, nor could he shake them off until some t»me 
after. At a meeting, when the congregation rose from prayer,. 
Colonel Harris was observed still on his knees, with his head 
and hands hanging over the bench. Some of the people wen^ 
to his relief, and found him senseless. When he came to him- 
self, he smiled; and in an ecstacy of joy, exclaimed, Glory! . 
glory I glory ! &c, goon after this, he was baptized by Rev, ' 
Daniel Marshall, as mentioned above. This probably took 
place some time in the year 1758. He did not copfer with 
6e8h and blood, but immediately began his ministerial labors; 
which afterwards proved so effectual as to. acquire him th^ 
name of the Virginia Apostle. 

In 1759, he- was ordained a ruling elder. His labors were 
chiefly confined, for the first six or seven years, to the adjacent 
counties of Virginia and North Carolina, never having past to 
the north of James River, until the year 1765. During the 
first years of his ministry, h6 often travelled with Mr. Mar- 
shal, and must have caught much of his spirit, for there is ob» 
viously a considerable resemblance in their manners. Janua« 
ry, 1765, AIIcq Wyley travelled out to Pittsylvani^i, to seek 
for a preacher, He had been previously baptized by some 
Regular Baptist minister in Fauquier ; but not being able to 
procure preachers to attend in his own neighborhood^ and hear- 
ing of New Jl.ights, (as they were called in North Carolina,) he 
set out by himself, scarcely knowing whither he wc^ going. 
God direct his way, anci brought him into the neighborho^ 
of Mr. Harris, on a meeting day. He went to the meetingi^ 
fokd was immediately noticed by Mr. Harris^ and asked whepof 

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128 WraoBT or 

he came. He replied that he was seeking a go^>et B i ini B ter ; 
and God having directed his course to him, diat lie was the 
man, and that he wished him to go with him to Culpepper. 
Mr. Harris agreed to go, like P^er, nothing doubting but that 
it was a call from €rod. This visit was abuncbntly btessc^d for 
the enlargement of the Redeemer's cause. Soon after he had 
returned, three messengers came from Spottsylvanki to obtain 
Mr. Harris's services. He departed into North Carolina to 
seek James Read, who was ordained to the ministry. Their 
labors were so highly favored, that from that time, Mr. Harris 
became almost a constant traveller. Not confining himself to 
narrow limits, but led on from place to place, wherever he 
could see an opening to do good, there he would hoist the fiag 
of peace. There was scarcely any place in Virginia, in which 
he did not sow the gospel seed. It was not until 1769, that 
this eminently useful man ws» ordained to the administration 
of ordinsuices. Why he was not ordained at an earlier period, 
is not certainly known: some say, that he did not wish it; 
others, that his opinions respecting the support of ministers 
were objected to by the leading elders. After his ordiiiati<ni, 
he baptized as well as preached. 

In every point of view, Mr. Harris might be conmdered as 
one of the most excellent of men. Being in easy circum- 
stances when he became religious, he devoted not only himself 
but almost all his property to religious objects. He bad begun 
a large new dwelling-house, suitable to his former dimity, 
which, as soon as it was enclosed, he appropriated to the use 
of public worship, continuing to live in the old one. 

After maintaining his family in a very frugal manner, he 
distributed his surplus income to charitable purposes. During 
the war, when it was extremely difficult to procure salt, he 
kept two waggons running to Petersburg, to bring up salt for 
his neighbors. His manners were of the most' winning sort, 
having a singular talent at touching the feelings. He scarcely 
ever went into a house, without exhorting and praying, for 
those he met there. . 

As a doctrinal preacher, his talents were rather below me- 
diocrity, unless at those times when he was highly favored 
i5rom above; then be would sometimes display considerable 
ingenuity. His excellency lay- chiefly in addressing the heart, 
and perhaps even Whitfield did not surpass him in this. 
When animated himself, he seldom failed to animate his 
auditory. Some have described him, when exhorting at great 
meetings, as pouring forth streams of celestial lightomg from 
his eyes, which, whithersoever he 'turned his fhce, would strike 

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THE I^ELnf BAPTISTS. 120 

pdi^wn buBclfeds a^once. H^nce he is often called Boanerges. 
Jfc much was Mr. Harris governed by his feeh'ngs, that if he 
Aegan to (xr^ch tfnd did. not feel some liberty of utterance, he 
ffi»Ould tell bis audience he could not preach without the Lord, 
mod then sit down. Not long before the commencement of 
Mifae great revival in Virginia, Mr. Harris had a paralytic shock, 
\Acm which he never entirely recovered. Yet this did not de* 
4er him from his diligent usefulness. If he could not go as far, 
"lie was still not idle within that sphere allowed him by his in* 
firmities.- . At air associations and general, committees, where 
lie was delegated, he was s^l most invariably made moderator* 
This officei like every thing else, he discharged with some 
ijfitegree -of singularity, yet to general satisfaction. 

For some short time previous to his death, his senses were 
considerably palsied ; so that we are' deprived of such pious 
lemarks, as would probably have fallen from this extraordi- 
nary sepvant of. God in his last hours. He was somewhat over 
seventy years of age when he died. 

The remarkable anecdotes told of Mr. Harris are so nume- 
imts, that they would fill a volumfe of themselves, if they were 
collected;- A part of them only we shall record. 

Mr- Harris, like Mr. Marshall, possessed a soul incapable of 
being dismayed by any difficulties. To obtain his own con*, 
-sent to undertake a laudable enterprise, it was sufficient for 
him to kno^ that k was possible. His faith was sufficient to 
thro^ mountains into the sea, if they stood in the way. He 
seems also never to have been appalled by the fear or shame 
of man, but could confront the stoutest sons of pride, and boldly 
urge the humWe doctrines of the cross. Like the braTe soldier, 
if beaten back at the first onset, he will still be niady for a fur- 
ther assault; so that he oflen con<juered opposers, that to 
others appeared completely hopeless. With this spirit he com- 
menced his career. 

Early after he embraced religion, his mind was impressed 
with a desire to preach to the officers and soldiers of the fort* 
An opportunity pfiered in Fort Mayo, and Mr. Harris began 
his harangue, urging most vehemently the necessity of the new 
birth. In the course of his harangue, an officer interriipted* 
him, saying, ' Colanel you have suck0d much eloquence from 
the rum-cask to-day; pray gfve us a little, that we may de- 
claim as well., when it comes to our turn.' Harris replied, * I 
am not drunk ;' and resumed his discourse^ He had not gone 
far, before he was accosted by another, in a serious manner, 
who, looking in his face, said, 'Sam, you say you are not 
dnu^; pray are you not mad then? What the d~l ails 

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130 HISTOXY ar 

you?' Colonel Harris replied, in the-wor^ of Paulj ' I aw 
iiot mad, most noble gentleman.' He continued speaking i«ib- 
licly and privately, until one of the gentkfhen received such 
impressions as were never afterwards shaken off; hut he after- 
wards became a pious Christian. 

Soon after this, Mr. Harris found a sad alteration as to his 
religious enjoyment. He prayed Gred to restore the light of 
his countenance, and renew communion with him, but his peti- 
tion w€is deferred. He then went into the woods, and sought 
for the happiness he had lost ; thinking that, peradventure, God 
would answer his prayer there, though not in the fort, where 
so much wickedness abounded ; but no answer came. Then 
he began to inquire into the cause why God dealt «o with him. 
The first that offered was his lucrative offices ; upon which he 
determined to lay them down immediately, and settle his ac- 
counts with the public. Having now removed the Aehan out 
of the camp, €is he thought, he renewed his suit ibr a restora- 
tion of the joy which he had lost ; but still ' the vision tarried, 
and the prophecy brought not forth.' He began to exanaine 
himself a second time. Then he suspected his money was the 
cause, and that he had made gold his trust. Accordingly he 
took all his money and threw it away into the bushes, where 
it remains to this day, for aught any one knows to the con- 
trary. After this, he prayisd again, and found that man's im- 
. patience will not shorten the time which infinite wisdoni hath 
measured out for delays or beneficence. Howeyer, in due 
time, the wished-fbr good came. ' I am aware,' (says Morgan 
Edwards, from whose MS. history this anecdote, is selected,) 
♦ that thi^story will render the wisdom of the Colonel suspected. 
Be it so. It nevertheless establishes the truth of his piety, and 
shows that he preferred, communion with God before riches 
and honors.' 

Rough was the treatment which Mr. Harris met with 
amongst his rude countrymen. In one of his journeys in the 
<jounty of Culpepper, a Captain Ball and his gang came to a 
place where he was preaching, and said, * You' shall not 
preach here.' A by-*tander, whose name was Jeremiah Mi- 
- nor, replied, .* But he shall.'* From this sharp contention of 
words, they proceeded to a sharper contest of blows and scuf- 
fles. Friends on both sides interested themselves | some to 
make peace, and others to back their foremen. The support- 
ers of Mr. Harris were probably most of them worldly people, 
who acted from no other principle, than to defend a minister 
thus insulted and abused. But if they were Christians, they 
were certainly too impatient and resentful, and manifeisted too 

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THE ^^£ISU BAWISTS, 1^1 

nuoh of the spirit Peter had, when he drew his sword on the 
bigh-priefll's servant. Colonel Harris's, friends took him into 
ft houses «nd set Lewis Craig to guard the dcor, while he was 
preachiBg ; . but presently Ball's gang came up, drove the sen* 
dnel from his stand, and battered open the door; but they were 
driven back by the people within. This involved them in an- 
other contest, and thus the day ended in confusion. 

On another occasion^ he was arrested and carried into court, 
as a disturber of the' peace.. In court, a Captain Williams ve» 
hemently accused him as a ycigabond, a heretic, and a mover 
of sedition every where. Mr. Harris made his defence. But 
the court ordered that he should not preach in the county agsun 
for the space of twelve months, or be committed to prison. 
The Colonel told them that he lived two hundred miles from 
thence, and that it was not likely he should disturb them 
again in the course of one year* Upon this he was dismissed. 
From Culpepper he went to Fauquier, and preached at Carter's 
Run. From thence he crossed the Blue Ridge, and preached 
it Shenandoah. On his return from thence, he turned in at 
Captain Thomas Clanathan's, in the county of Culpepper, 
where there was a meeting. While certain young ministers 
were preaching, the word of God began to burn in Colonel 
Harris's heart, -When they finished, he arose and addressed 
the congregation, * I partly promised the devil, a few days* 
since, at the court-house, that 1 would not preach in this coun- 
ty again, for the term of a year: but the devil is a perfidious 
Wretch, and covenants* with him are not to be kept, and there- 
fore I ^\^ll prcach.' He preached a lively, afiimating sermon. 
The court nt»ver meddled with him more. • 

In Orange county, one Benjamin Healy pulled Mr. Harris 
down from the place where he was preaching, and hauled him 
about, sometimes by the hand, sometimes by the leg, and 
sometimes by the hair of the head ; but the persecuted preacher 
had friends hei-e also, who espoused his part, and rescued him 
from the rage of his enemies. This, as in a former case, 
brought on a contention between his advocates and opposers ; 
during which, a Captain Jameson sent Mr. Harris to a house 
where was a loft with a step-ladder to ascend it. Into that loft 
he hurried him, took away thef step-ladder, and left the good 
man secure from his enemies. 

Near Haw -river, a- rude fellow came up to Mr. Harris, and 
knocked him down while he was preaching. 

He went to preach to the prisoners once, in the town of 
Hillsborough, where he was locked up in the gaol, and kept 
for some time. 

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r 

133 HlfiTOST OP 

NotwkhstMijdiDg these things^ Cckoat^ Harris did Bot saSet 
as many pei^ecutipiis as some other Baptist preachers. Tern* 
pered in some decree peoaliar to himself, his bold, noble, yet 
humble manner, dismayed the ferocious ^irlts of the <^p]9oaers 
ofreligioo. 

A criminal, who had been just pardoned at the ^llows, 
once met him on the road, and showed him his reprieve. 
* Well,' said he, * and have you shown it to JesuS V • No, 
Mr. Harrit), Iwant you te do that for me.' The old man im* 
mediately descendecUfrom his horse^ in the road, and making 
the man also alight, they both kneeled down; Mr. Harris put 
one hand. on the man's head, and with the other held open the 
pardon, and thus, in behalf of the criminal, returned thainks for 
his reprieve, and prayed for him to obtain God's pardon also. 

The following very interesting narrative was published by 
Mr. Semple, in his History of the Virginia Baptists ; it has also 
been published by Mr. John Leland, in his Budget of Scraps, 
under the title of * Praj^r better than Law-suits.' As there is 
some little variation, not as to matters of fact, but in the mode 
of expression^ in these two relators, I have selected from them 
both this singular and instructive story. When Mr. Harris 
began to preach, his soul was so absorbed in the work, that it 
was difficult for him to attend to the duties of this life. Find- 
ing at length the absolute need of providing more grain for his 
family than his plantation had produced, he went to a man 
who owed him a sum of money, and told him, he would be 
very glad if he would discharge the debt^ie owed him. The 
man replied, * I have no money by me, and therefores cannot 
oblige you.' Harris said, * I want the money to purchase 
wheat for my family ; and as you have raised a good crop of 
wheat, I will take that article of you, instead of money, at a 
current price.' The man answered, *.I have other uses for 
my wheat, and cannot let you have it.' * How then,' said 
Harris, * do you intend to pay me ?' * I never intend to pay 
you, until you sue me,' replied the debtor, * and therefore you 
may begin your suit as soon as you please;' Mr. Harris left 
him, meditating : ' Good God !' said he to himself, * what shall 
I do? Must I leave preaching to attend to a vexatious law- 
suit! Perhaps a thousand souls will perish in the mean tinae, 
for the want of hearing of Jesus 1 No, I will not. Well, what 
will you do for yourself? Why, this I will do; I will sue him 
at the court of Heaven.* Having resolved what to do, he 
turned aside into a wood, and fell upon his knees, and thus 
began his suit : * O blessed Jesus ! thou Eternal God ! Thou 
knowest that I need the money which the man 'owes me, to 

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• THB WKLira BAPTISTS* 138 

supply tHe wafits of^y fiunily ; but he will not pay me with- 
out a law-suit. Dear Jesus, ^holl I quit thy cause, and leaye 
the souls of men to perish 1 Or wilt thou, in mercy, open some 
o^r way of relief?' In diis address, the Col<Mttel had such 
nearness to God, that^ (to use his own words,) Jesus said unto 
hinv * Harris, I will enter bonds-man for the man— you keep 
on preaching, and omit the law-suit— 4 will take care of you 
and see that you have your pay.' Mr. Harris felt well satis- 
fied with bis security, but thought it would be unjust to hold 
the man a debtor, when Jesus had assumed payment. He, 
therefore, wrote a receipt in full of all accounts which he had 
against the man, and dating it in the woods, where Jesus en- 
tered bail, he signed it with his own name. Going, the next 
day, by*the man's house to attend, a meeting, he gave the re- 
ceipt to a servant, and bid him deliver it to his master. On, 
return'mg from the mei^ng, the man hailed him at his gate and 
«aid, * Mr. Harris, What did you mean by the receipt you sent 
me this morning V Mr. Harris replied, ' I meant just as I 
wrote.' ' But you know, sir,' answered the debtor, ' I have 
never paid you.' * True,' said Mr. Harris, ' and I know, also, 
that you said you never would, except I sued you. But, sir, I 
«ued you at the court of Heaven, and Jesus entered bail for 
youy and has agreed to pay me ; I have, therefore, given you 
u discharge !' * But I insist upon it,' said the man, * matters 
shall not be left so.' ' I am well satisfied,' answered Harris, 
' Jesus will not fail me; I leave you to settle the account with 
him another day. Farewell.' ' This operated so efiectually on 
the man's conscience, that in a few days he loaded his waggon, 
and sent wheat enough to discharge the debt. 

A complete history of the life of this venerable man, would 
furnish still a lengthy catalogue of anecdotes of the m®st inte- 
resting kind. 

John James, the minister of a church of Seventh-day Bap- 
tists in London^ was put to death in a most barbarous manner, 
in 1661. To take away his life was not sufficient to satisfy 
the rage of his blood-thirsty enemies; but after being hung at 
Tyburn, he was drawn and quartered ; his quarters were car- 
ried back to Newgate on the sledge, which carried him to the 
gallows; they were afterwards placed on the gates of the city, 
and his head was set on a pole opposite his meeting-house. 
This innocent man was exposed to these terrible sufferings, on 
the charge of speaking treasonable words against his Majesty's 
royal person at a private meeting, &c. Some of the treasona- 
ble words were, that the king was • a bloody tyrant, a blood- 
12 

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134 HtSTOST OF 

sucker, a bloodthirsty man, and his nobles ike same; and 
that they had shed the blood of the saints,' ^. To these 
charges, he pleaded not guilty, neither in form nor matter ; but 
had he acknowledged these charges against the infamous 
Charies U. and his bloody associates, they would have been 
the words of truth and soberness. 

But there appears to have been a malicious combisatioo 
against this harmless man, and he was convicted upon evidence, 
which the court with all its prejudices, at first thought not 
worth regarding. It was proved afterwards, by four respecta- 
ble persons, that erne Bernard Osborn confessed that he had 
. sworn against Mr. James, he knew not what. His wife, by 
the advice of her friends, presented a petition to the king, stat- 
ing her husband's innocency, and the character of the witness, 
When his inexorable Majesty saw the paper endorsed, * The 
humble request of Elizabeth James,' he replied, holding up his 
finger, * Oh ! Mr. James — ^he is a sweet gentleman !' And 
when the afflicted woman followed him to get some further 
answer, the door was shut against her. The next morning, as 
the king entered the park, the distressed wife again entreated 
his Majesty to answer her request, and pardon her husband; 
but, deaf to her cries, he again replied, ' He is a rogue, and 
shall be hanged !' Thus the poor woman was obliged to re- 
tire, without even being heard by her pitiless sovereign. Mr. 
James went to the gallows with Christian fortitude, and finished 
his' course in a joyful manner. ' If,' says Crosby, * there was 
any undue combination against this poor man ; if it was for 
some reason of state, rather than for any real guilt on his part; 
if his judgment and conscience, rather than any true crime, 
were the cause of his sufferings, his blood must be innocent 
blood.'*"t 

Richard Jones, a native of Wales, arrived in America, and 
became the pastor of the church of Burley, Virginia, in 1727- 
R. Jones was bordering on Arminianism when he left the 
Principality ; but by a letter sent from the church to the Phila- 
delphia association, signed by him and other members, we find 
they were confessing themselves to be under clouds of darkJ 
ness concerning the faith ; questioning whether they were on 
the right foundation or not— that they were unsettled in tbeiJ 
minds'— and requesting alliance with the said association, anJ 
their assistance to rectify what was wrong among them. What 
was done for them, we have not ascertained. 

* Crosby, vol. 2, p. 165. Ivimey, pp. 320—327. 
t Benedict, vol. 2, pp. 130, 331, 416. 

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THE WELSH BAPTISTS. 135 

Pbnypay Church, in the county of Glamorgan, was a 
branch of Swansea. It was gathered through the instrumen- 
tality of John Miles and Lewis .Thomas. In the time of per- 
secution, it was noted for its rich and respectable members. 
Colonel Prichard and Captain Evans were both members of 
this church. In 1659, Mr. Davis, Pemnaen, was high sheriff; 
his brother, deputy Sheriff; another brother, recorder of the 
county of Glamorgan ; and another brother, David Davis, 
A. M., was the minister of the judges in the county town of 
Cardiff— all belonged to the Baptist church here ; and all had 
their share of the wrath and indignation of his most gracious 
Majesty, Charles the secofid. But as they were great men in 
the world, they were men of great influence in the country.* 

Afler the death of Lewis Thomas, Morgan Jones, of Swan- 
sea, and Morgan Griffiths, of Hengoed, labored in word and 
doctrine in this region. In 1718, a gentleman in the neigh- 
borhood, made them a present of a meeting-house, where they 
meet to worship to this day. In 1726, they were formed into 
a regular church, and Griffith Jones became their pastor. 
Thomas Jones, an elder from this church, went to America, 
in 1737. He was bom in Nottaisry-Dref-newydd, in 1703. 
He had some landed property, near Mr. Price of Ty'nton, the 
father of Dr. Price, of London, who wrote the history of the 
American war. His wife was a daughter of one of the lead? 
ing members of Rhydwilim. She was from the parish of 
Manachlogddu, county of Pembroke. He became the pastor 
of the church of Tulpehoko%t Pennsylvania, and was ordained 
there in 1740. His son, Samuel Jones, was pastor of the 
church at Penepeck, whom we have mentioned already. 

Afler Griffith Jones, their pastor, left them, and went to 
Hengoed, they were a long time without a minister. At last 
they obtained Rees Jones, of Aberduar, to be their minister. 
They very unwillingly lost their late pastor, and got the other 
^uite as much agwnst the will of the church of Aberduar. 
Ministers of the gospel ought to be very cautious in those 
things. He continued but -a short time with them. 

Their next pastor was Jonathan Francis, who was baptized 

* William Davis, of New Britain, Pennsylvania, was of this femily, and sup^ 
fosed to be the rightful heir of a large estate in this region. . Whetherany of 
his posterity, (if there be any J know any thing of it, we cannot tell. The es- 
tate ought to have been in their possession since the year 1760. The increase 
irom that time to the present must be great— N. B. 110 years of quiet poseur 
«ion, in England, will avail nothing, if the plaintiff is a foreigner; if not, 60 
years will cut him off. ^ , , ^ » . , . 

t Sixty miles from Philadelphia. Several of the members of this church 
went to America at thb time. . 

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186 HI8T0RT or 

at Newcastle, (now Rehoboth,) but was at that tioie at Ponty- 
pool, in school, and a member at Penygam. He was there, 
on probation, for two or three years. After they gave him a 
call to be their minister, he was for years before he gave them 
an answer. But he was ordained at Penygam, and continued 
a member there, but supplied tbem and Penyfay, which was 
not considered altogether r^ular. The church increased but 
very little under his ministry for fifteen years. Afterwards 
there was a revival in the church for a short tinofe, aipd a great 
deal of something which ought not to have been. The best of 
men are imperfect, and the best ministers can only speak to 
the outward hearing. Paul may plant, and Apollos may 
water; but it is God alone that can give the increase ; it is his 
sole prerogative to speak to the heart, so that sinners who are 
dead in trespasses and sins, may hear his voice and live. May 
he, of his infinite mercy, add to their number, of such as shall 
be eternally saved, 

AssiftarU MinUters^ 

William Dav.is— went to America. * I 

Thomas Jones — went to America. 

William Thomas — ^began to prea6h 1740 — went to Broms- 1 
grove— died 1747. I 

Job Davis, Senior — ^baptized 1730 — died 1766. 
Enoch Francis — began to preach 1770 — ordained 1776. 
Rees Davis — ^began to preach 1771 — went to Norwich. 
Richard Watkins-^began to preach 1772. 
John Owen — ^began to preach 1773. 

Newbridgb Church, in the county of Radnor, was formed 
about the year 1650. Thomas Evans was their first minister.* 
His eldest son joined the church, and about 1700 began to 
preach. He was ordained about 1703. His name was Caleb 
Evans. In the year 1705, he was qualified according to the 
law of the land to preach, by taking the oaths, and subscribing 
to the declarations required by the act of toleration. He kept 
a regular correspondence with Samuel Jones, and Greorge 
Eaton, who went from the Dolau church to America. Seve- 
ral of those, letters are now before me. In one of them, 
Samuel Jones writes thus ; « I can truly say with the apos- 
tle, I rejoiced greatly that I found so many of your father's 
(jhildren walking in the truth. I cannot h^p observing the 

* See bis biognphf. • 

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THE WBMH BAPTISTS. . 137 

gocxhiess of God towards his pe(^e, in calling their children 
to the knowledge of the truth. May the Lord graiit me assist- ' 
ance to improve tlie exhortations that your father gave me. I 
Well recollect how sharp, plain, and convincing his sermons 
M^ere, and how urgent a^d pathetic he wa& in his applications. 
I also recollect what* a de^r brother he was to me. May the 
Liord help you to walk in your father's footsteps, and give you 
a double portion of his spirit, and bless your labors in his vine- 
yard." This letter is dated, " Pennsylvania, 1708'''— twenty 
years after the death of Thomas Evans. 

In 1727, Caleb Evans became the pastor of the church, and 
John Evansf his brother, assistant. Hugh Evans, Caleb 
Evans's son, was baptized at Bristol, while he was there visit- 
ing his aunt, in IT8O1 He began to pr^iph in 1731. In 
1734, he received la very pressing invitaticm to become the 
pastor of that church in London, which had been so long under 
the .pastoral care. of the.' celebrated William Arnold, dec^^used. 
But it appears that the bounds of his habitation was the city of 
Bristol. He became {in assistant of Mr. Fosket, in Bristol col- 
lege, while that gentleman lived ; and after his death, hfe'took 
the lead in the church and in the college. Caleb Evans, 
Hugh Evans's son, became an assistant to his father in Biris^r 
tol. Caleb Evans, tlugh Evans's brother, went to Bristol col- 
lege about 1735, 8uk1 became a Sensible and liiethodical preach- 
er> but he was by no means popular. He was many years at 
Usk, in the county of Monmouth, preaching and keeping school, 
until hQ moved to Bristol, where he followed the same employ-; 
ment as long as he Uved^ 

Soon after the yikr 172^9, five* young men began to preach 
in this church, Thomas Davis, John Evans, Rees Evans, Rees 
Jones, and John Evans, of Masdorglwyd. Thomas Davis was 
baptized in 1738 — went to Bristol college for his education, 
and settled as pastor at Faiirfax, England. Rees Evans was 
baptized in 1740. Having exercised his gifts for some time, 
he went to Bristol college in 1749; and supplied the church * 
at Leominister for three years. He went from there to Salop, 
in 1753 — was ordcuned there, in 1764 — went from there to 
Chester — and ei^ded his 4ays at Tewkesbury, 'England, ia 
1760. 

John Evans was n€jt only illiteMite when he began to preach,- 
t)ut was in SMch poor circun^stances in the world, that there 
was no hope of his ever becoming eminent. But the ways of 
God are above our ways. Thmigh he could not be recomr 
mended to college, on account of haying no preparatory educa- 
^on, yet h,e went to. the dty of Bristol, of hE9 own accord, an^ 

* Digitifed by Google 



188 H^sTOBT or 

by some means wcM^ed himself into the college^ in 1747. He 
turned out to be a most fluent and excellent preacher. Ik was 
ordained over the church of Foxton, Leicestershire, England, 
1750. He married a pious woman, of a* very respectable 
family, with whom he obtained no smaU portion of the things 
of this world, which, in addition to oth^r advantages, under 
the blesshig of God, was much. in his fevor. 

John Evans, of Masdorglwyd, became the pastor of the 

' church here — was ordained in 1744. He -was a learned man, 

brought up in Bristol college, but he was unhealthy. He soon 

flnished his labors, being happy and comfortable in his mind, 

in 1775. ^ 

Rees Evans married a daughter of Howel Meredith, of 
Trallwm. He lived with his father-in-law, and was the means 
of raising a Baptist interest in thtft region. 

Peter Evans was a grandson of old Caleb Evans, the second 
pastor of this churchy and a great-grand-son of Thomas Evans, 
the first pastor of the church, and a brother to Hugji and Caleb 
Evans, mentioned above. He began to pre&ch in 1760 — went 
to Bristol college in 1751 — settled at Yeovil, England— died Id 
1771. . 

John Evans, a brother to Peter Evans, of Yeovil, became an 
assistant to his father at home. • 

Caleb Evans, A. M., was brought up by his uncle, Hugh 
Evans, tutor of Bristol college-r-his father having died when he 
was young. He finished his eduoation at Aberfen, Scotland. 
He was bom in the parish of Llanafonfawr, in the county of 
Brecon, South Wales, in 1743. He went to America, "and set- 
tled at Charleston, South Carolma,^in 17(fl, and died in 1772. 
Though he was a good young man, yet his ministry was not 
so acceptable in Wnles, as was desirable.* 

Morgan Eyans began to preach in 1756. He was an ao 
ceptable preacher, though not very giAed. He was a good, 
solid, and substantial minister. 

Isaac Jones, the only son of Rees Jones, of Trallwn, b^an 
to preach about 1771. He had a veiy liberal educaticMi, and 
settled at Lynn, SufiTolk, En^and. ' The meeting-house was 
built in 1760. 



* Our Welsh historians give no reason for his ministry not being acccptt- 
Me. We believe that it was oa account of his sentiments. See Benedict's 
History qf Charleston, South Carolina. . * • 



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THE WELSH BAPTISTS. 139 



Newbridge MtnisUrs, ^ 

Thomas Eyans — died 1688. 

Wo o/^« < Caleb Evans— died 1789, 

Jiissons. ^ John Evans— died 1748, 

!Hugh Evans, A. M. — wfent to Bristol. 
Caleb Evans — ^went to Bristol. 
Peter EvAns — weni to Yeovil — died 1771. 
John Evans. 
His ereat-' ^ Caleb Evans, A. M. — went to Bristol. • 
.^^^ e,r.JL \ Caleb Evans, A. M.— went to America— r 
grand-sons. ^ ^ied 1772., 

Thomas Davis — went to Fairfod, England. 
John Evans — died 1775. 
Rees Evans — went to Trallwn, 
Morgan Evans — -went to Trallwn. 
Isaac Jones — -went to Lynn. 

John Williams, of Welsh extraction, was born in the county 
of Hanover, in the year 1747. He was of a very respectable 
family, and received a tolerable education. In the month of 
June, 1769, when acting as a sheriff of Lunenburg, he was 
awakened to know and to feel his sin and his danger. He be- 
came a convert; and shortly after, lifted up his voice to ex- 
hort his fellow men to flee from the wrath to come. He was 
not baptized until the first Sunday in February^ 1770. He 
continued to exhort, until some time the following summer ; 
when he ventured, to take a text; and from that time com* 
menced preacher. December, 1772, he was ordained to the 
ministry, and took the care of Meherrin church. His gifts, at 
first, were far from being auspicious. Many pt*onounmi tha.t 
he would never be a preacl^ : so delusory are the first efforts 
of the mind. . 

He not only succeeded in becoming a preacher, but in be«- 
coming a first-rate preacher, at least, in the estimation of most 
of his acquaintances. 

He was exceedingly fond of reading and writing i and, in- 
deed, was generally studious : by which means, he greatly 
improved his mind. 

When he first commenced preacher, he was zealous, active^ 
^nd Ic^borious in the ministry ; tmvelling and propagating the 
gospel ii; different parts. He may well be numbered among 
the fathers in Israel. His talent, however, was not employed 
^o n^uch in l»reaking down the bars, of prejudice in new ancj 

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J 40 HISTORY OP 

unenlightened places, as in directing and regwlating the young 
converts, when gathere4 by others. Pl^siflg, affable, and 
refined in his manners, 4ite had a hand to smooth off* some of 
those protuberances left by rougher woxiotnen. In associa- 
tions he was expert with his pen, as well cte wise to oflfer coun- 
sel. He acted Us clerk to the general association ; and when 
they divided the association into districts, a unaniinous vote of 
thanks was offered to Mr. Williams, for his ftdthibl and skilful 
services as clerk of the association^ He also dg^chai^ed the 
duties of clerk to the Roanoke association, until a little time 
previous to his death. He introduced several excellent regula- 
tions, both into the general and Roanoke associations, for the 
government of churches, &c. . Few men understood church 
discipline better, or were more successful in building up large 
respectable churches wherever he attended. - For many years 
he acted as pastor to four churches, whom he attended monthly. 
He was in high estimation both, as a man lEnd a minister. 
Even the enemies of the Baptists, would often, except Mr. Wil- 
liams from their reproaches.. In his temper towards those of 
oth^r religious persuasions, he was remaAably liberal. In- 
deed, by some of his acquaintances it is said, that be* was 
friendly to open* oommunion ; but that he was restrained^ from 
putting it into practice, by his tenderness for his brethren, 
most of whom differed from him on this head. This liberality 
of spirit did not prevent him from rnaintaining his own princi- 
ples with great firmness, whenever an occasion oflfered. It 
was such an occasion as thi.s, which drew forth his reply to 
Mr. Patilloe's* sermon on infant baptism. He committed his 
arguments to writing, with an intension of printing them in the 
form of a pamphlet; but as nothing came out Gn the other 
side, and as so much had been already published on that sub- 
ject, it was not put to press. " - 1 
• In his preface he makes the following remark : 
' " I hope I have siafficiently demonstrated to my country* 
men, for a series of years, that I am not overbeai4ng on others, 
or bigoted to my own principles which are not essential to sal- 
vation ; but have uniformfly endeavored to promote a catholic 
spirit, with peace. and concord, in the Israel of God. But, n&> 
vertheless, I am set for the defence of the gospel; and as such) 
circumstances often occur, that involuntarily lead me forth to 
contend for the faith and order of Chnst's church;" 

{le was generally up<m the best terms with the Prest^yt^* 
fuis ; who were pretty numerous in his neighborhood. 

♦ A cekbp«ed Presbyterian preacher. 

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THB WEI.SH aAFTISTft* 141 

His talents, if not equal to any, were certainly very little 
inferior to those of the first grade. 

His appearance in the pulpit was noble and majestic, yet 
humble and affectionate. In the beginning of his discourses, 
he was doctrinal and somewhat methodical : often very deep, 
even to the astonishment of his hearers. Towards the close, 
and, indeed, sometimes throughout his sermon, he^as exceedn 
ingly animating. His exhortations were often incomparable. 
At an early period, he became very corpulent. . At an associa-^ 
tioHj in the year 1793, he accidentally fell by the turning of a * 
step, as he was passing out of a door, tmd became, for a year 
or two, a cripple; being under the necessity of going on 
crutches. Notwithstanding this, he would still go in a car- 
riage to the meetings, and preach sitting in a chair in the pul- 
pit. During several pf the last years of his life, he was 
afflicted with a very painful disease. Under his severe suffer- 
ing, he was not only patient, but, when he could have any 
mitigation of his pain, he was also cheerful. About ten days 
before his death, he was attacked by a pleurisy ; from which, 
no medicine could give him relief. His work was finished ; 
and his Master had called for him. On the 30th day of ApriU 
1795, he fell asleep. 

Nothing very remarkable transpired at his death. He was 
pensive and silent. He told his wife, that to live or die was to 
him indifferent : he had committed this to God, who, he knew, 
would do right. ^ He said he felt some anxiety for his numer^ 
ous family ; but that these also, he was willing to trust in tho 
hginds of a gracious Providence. 

January, 1768, he was married to Miss Frances Hughes, of 
Powhatan county; by whom he had fourteen children; of 
whom eleven were living, at the time of his death : and of 
these, four professed religion, and were baptized. 

Penygarn Church, in the county of Monmouth. The 
history of this church might be called a continuation of Llan- 
trisaint. When their old meeting-house fell, it was never re- 
built, and as there was a new meeting-house built at Penygarn, 
and several mennbers of different churches living in that region, 
they all joined together in one church, and ever since went by 
the name of Penygarn. However, this church might have 
been organized before the Llantrisaint members joined them. 
Much preaching has been in this neighborhood for near one 
hundred years before this time — by William Jones> William 
Thomas, Robert Morgan, William Prichard, Christopher Price, 
Abel Morgan, Joshua James, Timothy Lewis, William Mere- 
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149 HISTORY OP 

dkh, William Philips, John Harris, Morgan Williams, Moi^n 
Griffiths, Thomas Quarrel, and others/ They began to build 
the meeting-house in 1727. It was three years in building. 
What was the reason of that we have not been informed. Two 
years after, -they- were regularly formed. Miles Harris, of 
Blaenaugwent, became their pastor, in the month of May, 1732. 
John Harris, of Blaenau, preached on the occasion. Ther^j 
were about nvo hundred members, and there was a gradual in- 
crease for many years, until 1747, when twenty -fivie members 
' were dismissed to form a new church at Bethesda. In 1771, 
several were dismissed to form a new church at Carleon. 
Many were dismissed to form a new church at Usk, and a 
great many of their members went to America at that time ; 
and some unpleasant things crept in among them, so that 
their number became less. But, however, these difficulties 
soon vanished away> like the morning dew before the heat of 
the sun, and this church became noted for brotherly love and 
friendship. 

Miles Harris was a very useful and acceptable preacher. 
He labored much in different places about Penygarn — such as, 
Pontypool, Blaenafon, Rhisga, Glasgoed, and Goedtre. He 
held regular meetings in those places, as well as at home, as 
long as he lived. He preached at Penygarn the last Sabbath 
he was upon earth. He was baptized at Blaenaugwent, on the 
1st of April, 1724. He was the first who was baptized in that 
great revival at Blaenaugwent. Soon after he began to preach 
he was ordained on the 29th of November, 1729 — took the 
pastoral care of the church at Penygarn, in 1732 — and died 
in 1776. He kept up a regular correspondence with several 
in America. 

David Jones was their second pastor. He had been preach- 
ing in the church as an assistant for many years before. He 
was a great revivalist — quite an eccentric character, bordering 
on enthusiasm. The whole of his design in preaching seemed 
to be, to work on the passions of his hearers — at which he was 
a complete master. He could make a congregation of fiftt^en 
hundred people, laugh and weep in two or three minutes. He 
was very popular, notwithstanding many people did not like 
him. 

Assistant Ministers. 

Benjamin Vaughan — went to Chesham — turned a Sandema- 
nian. 

Thomas Rogers — went to Bristol in 1720, and died soon 
after. 

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THB WELSH BAPTISTS. 143 

Joshua Andrews — took charge of Olchon in 1745, 

Morgan Edwards.* 

Jonathan Francis — ^went to Penyfay. 

Evan Jenkins-^went to Wrexhiun. 

Henry Philips — went to Salisbury. 

Daniel Thomas— went to Henley — died IT-OO. 

James Drewett — ^went to Honiton — died 1770. 

Thomas Lewis — went to Exeter — died 1774. 

Charles Harris — went to Bridgewater — died 1775* 

Thom'as Philips — went to Carleon. 

Miles Edwards — ^went to the Werm. 

MoLBSTON Church, in the county of Pembroke. Griffith 
Howell was the first that weis baptized in this regipn, by Wil- 
liam Jones, in 1667. He lived at a place called Rushacre, in 
the parish of Narberth, where the church of Rhydwilim met 
for upwards of forty years* 

About 1727, they began to preach at a place called Moles- 
ton, about two miles below the town, on the premises of Mr. 
George. The inhabitants of these parts, speaking the English 
language,f and being far from Rhydwilim, they formed them- 
selves into a regular church, in 1730 ; having been a branch 
of Rhydwilim for many years. 

Their first minister was Griffith Williams, one of the mem- 
bers of the church, who had been preaching among them for 
some time. He was baptized at Rhydwilim, in 1714, and be- 
gan to preach about 1725; but in 1733, their minister and- 
deacons died, and this, new church was left in a deplorable 
state. But, by divine assistance, one of their own sons took 
them by the hand, and taught them the way in which they 
should walk. His name was Evan Thomcis, who was bap- 
tized in 1731, and ordained on the 4th of September, 1736. 
Enoch Francis, Miles Harris, and other ministei^ officiated. 
Evan Thomas served them faithfully in the work of the minis- 
try, for many years. His conduct was exemplary, and his 
preaching truly evangelical and sweet. 

In 1763, this church built themselves a meeting-house, about 
two miles from the town of Narberth. 



♦ See his biography. 

t In 1111, some part of Flanders being overflowed by wate'r, many of the 
inhabitants came over to England. The king of England sent them, and 
«orae Englishmen with them, to settle in any part of Wales tbey could. 
They todk possession of the lower part of Pembrokeshire. They speak what 
(hey call English ; and their posterity have been residing there ever since. 



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144 nisTOAY OP 

Astisiant Mimsters* 

David Evans— baptized 1734— began to pr^ch 1736. He 
went to Hooknorton — thence to Ireland— thence to Newport* 
pagnel — ^thence Jo Biggleswade* 

David Jones— baptized 1753*— went to Wrexham, and after- 
wards became an itinerant. 

Samuel Griffiths— -b^an to preach 1761— went to Bristol- 
died 1765. 

Stephen Arley* 
George Thomas% 
David Davis. 

Llameix^ Church, in the county of Carmarthen. Theit 
were some Baptists in, and about this town, bdbre the year 
1640. How long before that time, we cannot tell. In 1653, 
they used to meet to worship at the lower Mill in the town. 
They had two preachers at that time, of the names of Meredith 
and Prosser.* As for Meredith, we know not what becaine of 
him in the persecution. It is supposed that he went to Ame* 
rica ; but we have heard nothing of him since. The members 
residing in this country then, belonged to the church at Swan- 
sea, under the pastoral care of John MUes* In the time of 
persecution, the meeting was held chiefly at the AUtfawr, 
Llanon parish. Preaching was also held at Grelly'r-cnyw, and 
other places, until they built a meeting-house, within a mile of 
Llanelly, called Ffel3aifoel, in 1709. Anthony Mathews, Simon 
Mathews, and Simon Butler, members of the Swansea church, 
living at Llanelly, went to America. 

This church ^as constituted, or re*organized, in 1735. It 
had been a branch of Swansea for many years. 

David Owens was their first pastor, as far as we know, who 
had been preaching among them about ten years before. He 
was ordained some time before he became the pastor of the 
church. He was a very acceptable preacher, and provided 
well for the church, and for his family, and died 1765. 

John Morgan, the son of Robert Morgan, was a learned man, 
very gifled and popular. He received a call to go to Warwick, 
England, and about a week after he arrived there, he died, in 
1703, aged twenty-four. 

Soon afler the church was regularly formed, Evan Thomas 
began to preach, and went to Bristol college. He went from 

* See Prosser^s biography^ 

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TOE WSLSR BAPTISTS^ \ 145 

that place to Warwick, in 1740— theoee to Bimmngham, in 
1743— thrice to Trowbridge, where the Lord blessed his la- 
bors abundantly for a short time* He removed from there to 
Bridg^water, in 1746 ; and was ordained there, in 1749. At 
Bridgewater he finished his labbrs, in the month of August, 
1757. 

About this time, David Mor^m be^m to preach* He was a 
good, substantial jnreacher, for the buHding up of Zion; but his 
principal talent was, to regulate and maintain the discipline of 
the church. In that respect he was ver^r useful, though his gifls 
as a preacher were but small* While they were talking about 
ordaining him, the Lord called him home to his eternal rest, 
in 1748. 

Moi^n J* Rees and John Duckfield, began to preach in 
1744. They were both ordained at the same time, in 1761. 
lohn Duckfield died in 1766. Morgan J. Rees was left alone, 
and the church was so large, and the places of worship so nu- 
merous, that it was impossible for one man to serve them.^ 
But it was not long before Grod was pleased to raise up two of 
their members to assist in the ministry— William Hughes and 
David Owens. William Hughes was ordained as an assistant 
to Morgan J. Rees, in 1774. 

Samson Davis, also, who h;a4 been a preacher of the Pres- 
byterian order, was baptized and became. a member of this 
:hurch about this time, and often preached here and at Swan- 
sea and Llangafelach. 

Respecting Robert Morgan and Morgan Jones, see bio- 
^phy, and the history of the churches of Swansea and Hen- 
joed. 

Abehduah Chttkch, Carmarthenshire. There were seve- 
*al Baptists in these parts, soon afbr the Reformation, brought 
o the knowledge of the truth, through the instrumentality of 
hat eminent man and faithful minister of Jesus Christ, Vava- 
tor Powel. Though not formed into regul6ir churches, they 
vere called Powel's congregations ; so that the Welsh people 
»f this region, at that period, could say, that though they had 
nany ministers, yet they had not many fathers. To cut down 
he timber was his work — ^the building of houses he left for 
•ther men. Had the builders made use of all the good mate- 
ials in his time, there would have been many more churches ; 
ut he went forward so rapidly in the chopping work, that they 
ould not keep up with him. There were hundreds and thou- 

^ * See Morgan John Reea*a biography. 

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146 HISTORY eF 

sands of sinners, in different parts, converted to Grod> without 
any form or order whatever. He had a great many congre- 
gations, each consisting of five or six hundred people^ who 
were brought to the knowledge of the truth. 

But the most excellent men have their deficiencies. ' The 
most perfect men on earth have their imperfections. As he 
was an advocate of mixed communion, he paid but very little 
attention to the form and order of the house of Grod. These 
things, in addition to the want of time to regulate matters, are 
the only reasons that can be given for so many large and nu- 
jpfierous -congregations being in some parts, where there was 
not a church. Ailer all, it is probable, that the good, the 
great, and worthy man, Vavasor PowelJ intended to return to 
bind up and gather his sheaves, after he had done reaping a 
certain quantity, but the infernal demon of persecution com- 
meticed a most furious and violent hurricane, and made a most 
dreadful havoc on the field of his labors, before the grain which 
he had cut down was bound up and gathered together. 

Once as Vavasor Powel was preaching in this region, in the 
open air, on a large meadow, the agents of Lucifer hearing of 
it, gave out their appointments to be there that- day kicking 
foot-ball ; and they were faithful to their engagement. There 
were two large congregations in the field. A young man, a 
gentleman's son, a Jeader in the foot-ball party, who had just 
finished his education abroad and lately returned home, thought 
that he must do some exploits on that day. He fixed on a 
plan, to run the ball among the congregation, arid to kick it 
into the minister's face ; and being an- exceedingly fast runner, 
he seemed to succeed in putting his plan into execution, had it 
not been for some cross fellow, who tripped up his heels, so 
that he fell and broke his thigh in a dreadfiil manner* But 
that was not all; for God was pleased to break his heart, by 
the operation of his Spirit, in his conviction and conversion* 
The strong man armed was cast out, and his house spoiled by 
one mightier than he. The blasphemer became a praying 
character on the green meadow, and an exhorter of the thought- 
less croiVd to flee from the wrath to come. He sent for the 
minister, and made a public confession of his evil designs, and 
requested him to come home with him 5 which, also, he did. 
Through the mercy and goodness of God, the young man re- 
covered, made a profession of religion, and became a preacher 
of the, gospel ; and endured Jiis part through the whole perse* 
.cutiop, which commenced soon after his conversion. 

About the year 1720, Enoch Francis baptized a great many 
*n these parts. Some time after, one of the inhabitants, Tho- 

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THE WELSH BAPTISTS. 147 

mas David Evans, began to publish ^salvation free in Jesus' 
name, and sinners flocked to the house of God, as doves to 
their respective windows. 

Enoch Francis, at this time, was living at Capel-Iago ; but 
after he moved to Newcastle, the meeting was held at a farm- 
house, called Aberduar, where Evan Saunders lived. 

About this time, T. J), Evans began to preach at Bwlchy- 
rhyw. He had a long mountainous road to go, but he con- 
tinued going "there once a month, for some years, apparently 
to no purpose-^there being very few hearers. Often he made 
use of these words in his prayers : " Though we have toiled 
all the night, and have taken nothing, nevertheless, at thy 
word we' will let down the net." At^ last, he gave them his . 
farewell sermon, from Matt. 23:38, 39 — " Behold your house 
is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, ye shall not see 
me henceforth, until ye shall say. Blessed is he that cometh in 
the name of the Lord," He closed the meeting, and gave out 
no appointment. This was in 1737. Some time after, as he 
was returning from Radnorshire, by the house, he found that 
there was a young woman, of the name of Harris, keeping 
school in it. He turned in, and in the course of their conver- 
sation, she requested him to come and preach there once more. 
He told her he would. At the time appointed, there was a 
very large and attentive congregation. He visited them twice 
in the month, and in a short time, a great many submitted to 
the ordinance of baptism. The first who was baptized was the 
father of J. Thomas, of Leominister. Enoch Francis, though 
he was so much engaged in the revival in other parts of the 
church, attended to administer the ordinances. But in the heat 
of this revival, he died. The Lord carried on the work, not- 
withstanding his death was a great loss to them, and to thou- 
sands more in other parts. Most wonderful was the mourning 
and lamentation after that man. 

Evan Saundeifs, of Aberduar, was a deacon of the church, 
and a most excellent, wise, and prudent man — well qualified 
for that office. Immediately after the death of Enoch Francis, 
he began to preach, but in the course of two years he died 
also ; so that we might say, that, in a certain sense, the church 
suffered a greater loss in consequence of his death, than that of 
Enoch Francis. 

On the day that Enoch Francis died, being front home, 
Timothy Thomas began to preach at home, at the age of 
nineteen. He was a very acceptable preacher, and, in tha 
opinion of many, capable to fill up the place of their late pas- * 

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148 RI8T0RY W 

tor. John Thomas began to preach bocxl afterwards, itxid was 
well received as a worthy mmister of Jesus Christ. 

The church of Aberduar, which was a branch of Newcastle 
and Panteg, now Rehoboth, was regularly formed as a sepa- 
rate church, in 1742. This was an infant grown-up church, 
on the day it was constituted. There were four branches be- 
longing to it — ^that is, Penycoed, Argoed, Bethd, and Bwlchy- 
rhy w. Bethel meeting-house had been built, the year before 
this friendly separaticm took place. 

In 1743, Timothy Thomas and John Thomas were ordained 
— ^both of them the same day. 

Towards the latter end of the year 1743, Joshua Thomas, a 
brother of Timothy Thortias, and the author of the History of 
the Welsh Baptists, began to preach. Though he was bap- 
tized at, and was an original itiember of, Leominister, in the 
county of Hereford, England; yet he was at home, at his 
father's house, -when he began to preach, . He preached his 
first sermon at the request of the church at Fenycoed — the 
branch above named — ^from Rev. 8:2: "Be watchful, and 
strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for 
I have not found thy works perfect before GU)d." He con- 
tinued preaching there, untill 174^, when he removed to the 
Hay to live, and was received by letter, a member of the 
church of Maesyberllan. He labored there and at Olchon 
with acceptance, until the year 1754, wh^i he returned to 
Leominister, and became the pastor of the church there. He 
was highly esteemed, and well provided for, all the days of his 
life. 

His son, Timothy Thomas, was bom in Wale&»-became a 
member of the Baptist church in London-^^received his educa- 
tion in Bristol collie— and became the pastor of the Baptist 
church at Devonshire Square, London. 

Moses Davis received his educaticHi in London, under the 
tuition of Dr. Jennings and Dr. Savage. He married a young 
woman of very respectable family, in Essex. He lived with 
her parents, but did not take the chai^ of any church. He 
preached considerably in various places, until he died, in 1765. 

In 1768, John Thomas, before-mentioned, lefl here, and be- 
came the pastor of the church of Maesyberllan. 

At the same time, William James began to preach in this 
church, but soon left it and joined the Presbyterians. 

In 1761, the meeting-house at Aberduar was built, and a 
great revival commenced. Between sixty and seventy were 
added to them in a short time. 

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TBB 1VBL8H BAniSTS* ii(^ 

Zechanah Thomas began to preach in the ehurch of New- 
castle, now Rehoboth, in 1757. He was invited to assist his 
brother Timothy in 1762, when he moved from Newcastle to 
his native place* 

Samuel Evans began to preach in 1763. Having received 
his education at Bristol, and supplied various places in Eng<t 
land, he settled at Downton, England. 
David Saunders began to preach in 1764. 
Soon ader, David Davis began to preach. He was brought 
tip for the church of England. 

Zechariah Thomas, David Saunders, and David Davis, were 
ordained on the same day, in 1771, 

This church has four good meeting-houses : 
I^enycoed, l^ilt in 1795, 
Bethd, builtan 1741. 
Bwlchyrhyw, buHt in 1748. 
Aberduar, buih in 1761. 
They administer the ordinances, in regular rotation, once i^ 
month, in each of them. 

UsK Chubch, in the county of Monmouth, was a branch 
of Llantrisaint, was formed into a regular church about 1654; 
and therefore had its part of the persecution which com- 
menced in 1660. 

Thomas Quarrel was their first minister.* Afler the death 
of T. Quarrel, Nathaniel Morgan, an assistant preacher, sup- 
plied this church. He was a pious, ^Hed, and wealthy man. 
He was a hospitable, liberal, and useful man, in the church 
and in the world. Joseph Stennett, D. D., married one of his 
daughters. Samuel Stennett, D^ D„ was a grandson of this 
good Welshman. 

Nathaniel Morgan bequeathed the sum of five pounds per 
annum, for the support of the gospel in this place. He died in 
sure hope of the resurrection of the just, on the 21st of No-, 
vember, 1722, aged 71 years. 

Some time a&r, Caleb Evans an4 several other ministers, 
supplied them; so that they had regular preaching in the 
town, and at Caerfawr in the country ; but the cause was 
growing weaker and weaker. By this time the inhabitants of 
this part of the vale of Carleon, whose forefathers had been so 
noted for religion in past ages, became careless, indifi^nt, and 
extremely ignorant; and what was still more wonderful, they 
were great zeak>t3 for the establishment. 



* ^ hia biography. 

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18 # 



160 HnrosT or 

In 1755, Edmund Watkina, the pastor of the church at Bis- 
enau, moved to this region to live. He preached to them at 
often as he could, but very few came to hear him. He feh 
much for them, and often poured out his soul with tears befoit 
(}od, on their behalf. He exhorted and admonished them per- 
sonally, to flee from the wrath to come. They considered him 
as a ^)od citizen, and a good meaning man, but pitied his ig- 
norance very much. Thus continued the state of things here^ 
for the space of fifteen years after Edmund Watkins came 
among them. But in 1770, a revival commenced, and a great 
many were added unto them, which so enraged certain indivi- 
duals, that they were likely to lose their meejting-house in the 
town, for which they had no title?. However, Edmund Wat- 
kins with some difficulty bought the house and paid^ for it 
The old house at the Garfawr was also enlarged by E. Wat- 
kins. Though he was the pastor of Blaenaugwent, yet as bo 
lived in this part, he was really a father to this church for 
many years. Other ministers supply them, so that they have 
preaching every Lord's day, or some part of the day, in both 
places; and the ordinance of the Lord's supper administered 
every month, in one of the places, in regular rotation. 

Llanolophan Chvsch, in the county of Pembroke, was a 
strong branch of Rhydwilim for many years. About 1690, 
the preaching was held at Tref bwmallt, in the parish of Cas- 
tlehaidd. It was afterwards moved to Castlemorris, in the 
parish of Mathri, to the house of William Gamon, the father of 
the famous Daniel Garnon, minister of the gospel. About 1705, 
the pre»3-gang was very troublesome in this country, and par- 
ticularly to religious people. They would take any young 
man from the meeting, and send him to the army. It is asto- 
nishing to think of all the stratagems and schemes invented by 
the prince of darkness, to hmder the rapid increase of Imma- 
nuel's kingdom. 

The meeting-house at Llanglophan was built about the year 
1706. The church and congregation increased most wonder-, 
fully, and soon became very strong, wealthy, and liberal. 
They were regularly formed into a church in 1744. Their 
first minister was David Richards, one of the original constitu- 
ents of the church, who had been preaching among them nearly 
thirty years before. He was a very skilful man in managing 
the discipline of the church ; and was well respected by the 
congregation and the world in general, although he was but a 
poor man. He was well versed in Scripture— a warm and 
liTdy preacher — very ready to give an answer to any man* 

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THB WBL8H BAFTISTt. 151 

He was such a strong advocate for belierers- baptism/thal 
some of his friends thought that he was s<Hnetimes too stri(^ 
and severe. His answer to such was, that to bear testimony 
for the truth afforded him peace of conscience. He was very 
comfortable in his soul in his last illness, under the considera« 
tion of his interest in Christ through the free grace of God, and 
the nearness of that eternal glory to which he was hastening* 
He finished his race with joy,* in 1749. 

After the death of their pastor, they were liot left des«^ 
titute, for they had three good preachers — ^Daniel Gamon,. 
David Lewis, and Evan Davis: these three were ordained at 
the same time — ^the same year their late pastor, David Rich«^ 
ards, died. By this time, they were rich, numerous, and pros-. 
perous. There was another very promising young preacher 
among them, by the name of Henry Morgans. He was edu-^ 
CQ'ted in Bristol college, and returned home, but soon died^ in 
1747, aged twenty-seven years. 

About 1745, three young men began to f.reach — John WiU 
Hams, George Rees, and David Thomas. By this time, they 
had six preachers, of no small talents, who were constantly 
employed in the work of the ministry, in every direction, all 
around, far and near, like an army with banners; and Jesus,, 
the Captain of their salvation, was their Leader. No wonder 
that almost the whole region are Baptists. 

In 1751, Evan Davis took the pastoral care of the church at 
Bethesda, Monmouthshire. 

In 1758, John Williams, George Rees, and David Thomas^ 
were ordained. In 1756, they built. another meeting-house, 
called Middlemill, near St. David's. About this time, David 
Thomas went to Rhydwilim.* David Gamon also went to 
Bbenezer. He was born in 1702 — baptized when he was six- 
teen years old-— and began to preach at the age of eighteen. 
In 1776, they built another meeting-house at Fishguard. Re- 
specting George Rees, see Rhydwilim. At the same time, 
Thomas Lewis and William Evans began to preach. Before 
the branches of this church were formed into distinct churches, 
the number of members was one thousand. 



Bbthesda Church, in the county of Monmouth. About 
1700, there was regular Baptist preaching at Cas-bach, by the 
ministers of Llanwenarth, Hengoed, and Blaenaugwent. Se- 
veral were baptized, and rt^ey \md the ordinance of the LordV 



* See histoiy of RhydwHioD^ 

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152 BXiTOXT or' 

tapper administered every month, by those miniilart^ in lego- 
lar rotation. 

Afler them. Miles Hanis of Poaygam, labored mudi, and 
bi^tized many in this r^on. Griffith Jones, also, was very 
useful here in his time. In 1742, they built a meeting-house, 
and called it Bethesda; but it is^ow known by the name of 
Baselie, from the name of the parish in which it is built — 
notwithstanding the proper name is St. Ba^l. It is about four 
or five miles from Cas-bach, where the preaching was held at 
first. William Philips, one of the members, preached occa- 
sionally to them at this time. And Rees Jones, who moved 
from Aberduar to Penyfay, and married a widow who held a 
farm called Ty'n-y-pwll, settled in this part. But, in a sfacHi 
time, both of them were found guilty of something that was 
not becoming the gospel of Chfist. 

On the third day of February, 1747, they were formed into 
a church— consisting of twenty-six members from Penygam ; 
twenty-one from Hengoed ; and thirty baptized, lately in this 
region — ^in tlie whole, seventy-seven: but they were a long 
time after this, before they had a minister of their own.' 

At last they obtained David Evans, of Llanglophan, in the 
county of Pembroke, who settled with them in the fnmith of 
August, 1751. Edmund Watkins preached on the occasiOT, 
from 1 Thess. 6:12, 13 — ^* And we beseech you, brethren, to 
know them which labor among you, and are over you in the 
Lord, and admonish you ; and to esteem them highly in lovs 
for their work's sake." 

He was a godly, laborious, and diligent man, in the minis* 
try, but not very successful. 

Craigfarooed Church, in the county of Glamorgan, h 
1760, Charley Winter, and twenty-four members of the church 
at Hengoed, imbibing the sentiments of the general Baptists, 
left that church, and built a new meeting* house, of the above 
name, within four miles of the former house. C. Winter 
preached and administered the ordinances to them, until he 
died in 1773, aged seventy-three. He was baptized in 1726 
—ordained about 1738. He was a pious and intelligent man, 
of a mild, easy, and peaceable disposition. 

Thomas Williams was an assistant preacher in the church 
for a short time. Morgan Thomas, from Neyircastle, was an 
assistant, and died in 1774« 

Afler the death of these ministers, the particular Baptist 
^nisters were invited to supply them, but they refused to ad* 

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THE WELSH BAP7I8TS. 153 

minister the ordinaace to them, on account of the dijBference in 
sentiments* 

In 1777, one of the members of the church, who had been 
regulariy called to the ministry among them, and educated in 
Ocirmarthen college, was ordcuned. His name was Jacob 
Isaac. He was a good preacher, and a man of good moral 
character; but. notwithstanding all this, the congregation is 
very small, and very f(^w addfed to the church. It appears 
tbat Arminianism cannot agree with the soil of (his Princi* 
pality. 

Gi«¥NqErRio6 Ghuboh, North Wales, About the year 
1700, there were several Friends, (the people called Quakers,) 
about Newbridge, in this region. They built a meeting-house, 
and ctdled it the Cefn. However, as they decreased in num» 
ber, they let the Baptists have the house in 1715. The Bap» 
"^ists met in4he house for many years, for prayer, reading, and 
religious conversation, having no minister to preach to them. 
In* 1740, they invited Evan Jenkins, of Wrexham, to preach 
to the Cefn, which he did occasionally as long as he lived. 

David Jones, his successor, at Wrexham, often preached at 
the Cefn. Some of the people from the Glynceiriog, having 
heard him preaching at the Cefn, invited him to preach in 
their neighborhood, which was as d€irk and ignorant, in divine 
thnigs, as the regions of Asia or Africa. But out of curiosity 
many of them came to hear, and some of them were converted 
to Grod and yielded obedience to his commands. Iij 1758, 
Beveral were baptized, and the work of the Lord prospered. 
A great revival commenced. Forty-eight were added to them 
by baptism, in a short time. The whole region seemed to be 
in a sort of fermentation* Some were converted — some were 
convinced-^— some were alarmed, and others enrag^ — ^and 
some were determined to put a stop to these things. Those 
who wouM not go to church were put into the Bishop'>s jcourt ; 
but, to their great surprise, when Dr. Drummond, bishop of 
8t. Asaph, came through on his visitation,. he told them to let 
the Baptists alone to worship God according to the dictates of 
their own consciences; and charged them not to disturb them. 
This, in a measure, put an end to that sort of persecution ; but 
as yet there was no peace: The sword of the father was 
against the son, and the son against the father; the mother 
was against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother, 
Several instances oocurr^, of parents having turned their chil- 
dren out of doors, because they made a profession of the reli- 
gion of Christ. At that time, the law required that every 

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154 HISTORY OF 

house for religious worship should be licensed, but some of the 
great men in the neighborhood we;« determined to refuse them 
a license, and had done so repeatedly, until they sent to Lon- 
don to ask the aid of the Society for the Protection of Religious 
Liberty. The consequence was, that the license was immedi- 
ately granted, and the Baptists were no more persecuted, but 
much respected by the greatest men in the land. In 1761, 
they built a meetings-house, which was opened in August, 17^2. 
In, 1764, they were constituted a church ; for they had been 
a branch of Wrexham before that time, 

John Hughes, a member of the church, was* their first pas- 
tor. He was baptized in 1765, began to preach in 1768, and 
was ordained in 1770. In the same year, he bapti?^ his 
brother-in-law, Maurice Jones, who had been preaching in the 
Calvinistic Methodist Connection for some time* However, 
he soon removed from there to Blaenaugwent ; and some time 
cdler, John Hughes leil them, and settled at Brassey Grees, 
Cheshire. 

About this time, Edward Jones, brother to Maurice Jooes, 
began to preach — ^and they are supplied by other ministers. 
They break bread at Glynceiriog and Celh-bychan, every 
other month. 

Ebenezeb, in the county of Pembroke. In 1766, there 
W81S a dispute in the church of Cilfowyr, about laying on of 
hands on the baptized ; and though it was considered by the 
association, no bar of communion, yet it was the cause of the 
beginning of the church at Ebenezer, as they were not for it 
they had their dismission from» Cilfowyr, and formed them- 
selves into a church in 1767. 

John Richards, one of their original constituents, was their 
Pastor — William Williams* 'and Thomas Henry,* assistants. 
Soon after this separation, William Williams W6is ordained, 
and many were added unto them. In 1768, they built a 
meeting-house, and had the pleasure of administering the ordi- 
nances of baptism and the Lord's supper, on the day it was 
opened. The same year, their aged pastor, John Richards, 
died. He began to preach with the Presbyterians at Llechryd. 
He was a good preacher, but always shut his eyes in preach- 
ing as well as praying. He was baptized at Cilfbwyr in 1714, 
and ordained at the same place in 1743. Though he was not 
popular, yet his gifts and talents were well calculated to edify 
the saints. He died in a good old age, and in full assurance 
of eternal bliss, through Jesus Christ. He was buried at Cil- 
fowyr, The following epitaph is on his tomb-stope ; 

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THE W^LSH BAPTISTS* 1§S 

*^ Underneath, lieth what was mortal of the Rev. John Rich** 
drds, who beg»n in the ministry of the gospel about 1713, had 
a share in the pastoral at Cilfoyyr for many years, and was 
the first pastor at Ebenezer — ill which charge he finished his 
course June 27th, 1768, aged 79." 

He gathered materials for the history of the Baptists in three 
counties in Wales — Carmarthan, Pembroke, and Gardigan— 
some years before his death* • , 

About this time, Dapiel Garnon removed from this place to 
I«langlophan, and became an assistant in that church, until he 
died, on the ISth- of February, 1777, aged 75 years. 

Thomas Lewis and Benjamin Davis began to preach in this 
place, about this time. Both of them went to Bristol college^ 
and settled at Bridgewater, England* 

In 1775, this <5hurch built a large meeting-house in the town 
of Cardigan. ^ 

William Williams Was their second pastor. He was a no» 
bleman of considerable landed property, and a magistrate of 
the Quorum. As such,: he acted in three counties — Carmar* 
then, Pembroke, and Cardigan. He was the only dissenting 
minister, as far as we know, that ever was thus honored, in 
that country. His church and congregation were also rich and 
very respectable, although there were many poor members 
among. them, to whom he was very liberal. However, he 
taught the church a bad habit. Instead of receiving some 
money from them, at every church meetmg, he always took 
out' his purse, and laid it on the table, and thei^id^^ided the 
contents among those that were considered worthy of having 
assistance* When this church was obliged to act) after his 
death, it was a difficult work with them at first. William 
Williams was truly a good and pious man, much respected by 
the poor, and both respected and dreaded by the richest men 
in this region: so well qualified was he .as a justice of the 
peace— *so well acquainted with the law of the land— and so 
majestic was he in his appearance on the bench in court, that 
he was never contradicted. In the house of God, however, he 
was quite another man. Here he looked more like the crimi* 
nal than the judge — so free and affable, so meek and humble 
was he, that every one of his flock loved him dearly, and there 
was nothing more dreadful to the feelings of any one guilty of 
SL crime, than the thought, that Williams of Cardigan would be 
there. Oh I how could he bear to look at him* 

Tabernacle Church, in the town of Carmarthen, belong* 
ed to the Welsh Baptist association, held at Abergavenny on 

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156 HISTORY nw 

the 14th and 16th days of May^ in 165d» How long bafarethat 
tkne it had existed and belonged to that assodatipn, ym daiio$ 
know. William Thomas was.appconted to preach there ev^ 
third Sunday.^ In the association held at Aberafon, witfaii 
the bounds of Swansea church, in 1653, the fdlowing mim 
ten were appconted to preach at Carmarthen, in regular rota^ 
tion, throughout the year: William Prichard, William Thomas^ 
Thomas Joseph, John Miles, Howel Tho.mas, David Davis, 
Walter Prosser, Thomas Jones, and Morgan Jones* 
' Robert Morgan was a member and a preacher in this churcii.t 
On the restoration of Charles the second, many of the memb^ 
of this church were imprisoned, and most dreadfully persecuted 
in many respects, too horrid and too tedious to be nienti(»iei 
We know but very little about it from this period to the tiow 
of the great revival, through the instrumentality of Enod 
Francis and others, except that Vavasor Powel preached eftet 
here, and near the town, in his time. It is said that Vavasor 
Powel, hearing of a poor man in this r^on, who was in the 
habit of working on Sunday, went to bim and asked him what 
was the reason he did not keep holy the Sabbath-day. " It is 
as much as I can do to support my family while I work harf 
aeven days in the week," was the answer. Vavasor Pow^ 
asked him, whether he would come to meeting, if he would* 
pay him as much as he was getting for his labor per day. Ifo 
said he would. For a considerable time the man was as good 
as his word, and was psud regularly. After a while, V. Pow- 
el was in^^ to him for two or three Sundays; and calling' 
on the man to turn and receive his money, he refused to take! 
it, and said — ** I can now depend upon God. I find that he is( 
able to bless the labor of six days, and make it equal to seven.' 
I hope that I shall be enabled henceforth to keep the com- 
mandments of God from a principle of love." 

In 1762, they rented a house for divine worship in the town 
of Carmarthen, and a great many were baptized in the river 
Towy and added to this church. And at this time, also, they 
were supplied by ministers from other churches. Stephen Da« 
vis and Timothy Thomas, of Aberduar, chiefly supplied them. 
In 1765, Stephen Davis removed to the town. 

David Evans was their first pastor. He was ordained in 
1765. Stephen Davis, Owen Rees, and William Bowen, were 
assistants. 

In 4775, Evan Davis began tb preach in this church. He' 
was a relation of Enoch Francis. He went to Bristol college.' 

• Se« his biography. ^ + See his biography. 

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• THB WELSH BAPTISTS. 157 

Priost Strsbt Chubch, Carmarthen. In 1775, there 
«8 a split in the first charch at Carmarthen. Stephen Davis 
ttd several of the members lefl here^ and formed themselves 
ito a church at Tycoch. Stephen D^vis was ordained their 
Bbstor in 1776. That yeas a great many were added to them, 
nd Edward Evans, John Rees, and William Harris, began to 
reach. 

They have two meeting-houses — Priory Street, Carmar- 
len, and Tycoch in the country, about four or five miles from 
)wn. 

Thus we have given a short account of some of the Baptist 
linisters, and of the churches with which they were connected. 
bme of these ministers died in prison for conscience' sake — 
thers came to their end, by various methods of legal perse- 
ution and lawless outrage. Many of them suffered by fines, 
couiging, and imprisonment— others were driven into exile, 
tarvation, and wretchedness. Of these sufferers we have ob- 
lined but little information, while the history of others must 
e unknown until the day of judgment. What the Rev. Da- 
id Benedict said is really a fact : " The reign of Charles the 
eccmd was, indeed, a series of oppression ; but that guilty na- 
Lon was then visited with sore calamities. In 1665, a plague 
roke out, one of the most dreadful within the memory of 
nan* The number which died in London only, amounted to 
boot one hundred thousand. Eight or ten thousand died in 
iie city and suburbs in one week. This calamity was pre- 
eded by an unusual drought, and it was succeeded in 1666, by 
most destructive fire, which in three or four days consumed 
lirteen thousand and two hundred dwelling-houses, eighty- 
ine steeple-houses, (commonly called churches,) and many 
ther public buildings. ThUs, that guilty nation, which had 
ommitted to the flames so many of the saints of the Lord — 
rhich had starved and tormented so many in various ways, 
ras, in quick succession, visited with three of the most terrible 
lessengers of divine vengeance — ^mine, plague, and fire." 
Wales has been a nursery of Baptists. Hundreds of them 
bve been, and now are, in many parts of England. Beside 
kose who have joined English churches in England, there are 
wo Welsh Baptist churches in London ; one in Bristol ; one 
i Liverpool ; one in Manchester ; and several in other places, 
lany of the American churches were founded, either wholly 
Fin part, by Welsh emigrants. And there are several Welsh 
lurches in America. Wales has also supplied the American 
lurches with many useful ministers, many of whom are gone 

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156 BI8T0BT OP 

home to receive thmr reward, while others are now activdj 
enMged in the western department of the Lord's vineyan 
Indeed, tnost of die Baptists Jn the state of Pennsylvania, for) 
ffreat number of years from the begmnii^, (exc^ the Ta 
kers and the Mennonists, were either emigrants nrom Waiq 
or their descendants. 



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THS WELSH BAFTISTS, 159 



RECAPITULATION. 



The religion of Jesus came from God, and is a most glori- 
>us dispensation, not only for the sublime wonders of its doc- 
riiie, and the divine purity of its precepts, but because it excels 
ill other religions in the strength of its motives, the richness of 
is promises, and the sufficiency of the divine aid attending it* 

Remote antiquity sanctions the erection and occupancy of 
uitable places for the public worship of Admighty God. The 
eoowned patriarchs had their sacred altars, tlK>ugh of rude 
iondmictioQ, upcm which they ofl^red accc^hle sacriiioes. 
Vhe Israelites, during their eventful peregrinations through the 
Ijrabian desert, had their tabernacle of meeting, in which the 
]jord their God condescended to &vor them with visible tokens 
>f his gracious presence. When conducted to the fruitful land 
>f Canaan, and settled there according to divme appointment, 
hey erected a magnificent temple, whose form, dimei^ions, 
ind elegance^ rendered it for many ages the wonder of sur* 
'ounding nations. In addition to which they built numerous 
y nagogue?, over all the country, for more general conve- 
lience; as well^ as cons^cted houses of prayer, in which . 
Aoaa persons might assemble more privately, and there pour 
brth the warm elusion of their devout hearts. 

The prunitive Christians, whose religion was rejected by the 
inbelieving Jews, as well as' account^ '< foolishness" by the 
earned Greeks, were so far from enjo3ring splendid temples 
or religious worship, that they scarcely had places where to 
lide their heads, and did frequently avail themselves of the 
locturnal season quietly to enjoy the communion of saints. As 
con, indeed, as the heat of persecution had abated, and the roar- 
ng billows of boisterous passions had be&n hushed into silence, 
o that the Christians could enjoy peace and security, not only 
n their retreats of solitude, but also in their public assemblies, 
—then they looked out for better accommodationsr and were 
ndustrious in procuring themi Especially when Constantine 
he Great embraced the Christian faith, and Rome pagan be- 
»ame Christian : then were many heathen temples converted 
nto places for Christian worship, and the Christiaps were pro- 



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160 HI8T01IT OF 

tected by tbe ciril authority in the perfonnance of their reli- 
gioue duties. 

Before the advent of Christ, the progress of his religion, and 
prosperity of his kingdom, had long been the animating theme 
of prophetic inspirations. Jeaovah, speaking to the Messiah; 
'says, " Ask* of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thioBj 
inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy pos- 
session." The prophet Isaiah, contemplating the flourishing 
state of the Messiah's kingdom*, breaks forth in the most lively 
strains, as though he had personally realized it, saying, ** Unto 
us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given ; and t^ie govern- 
ment shall be upon his shoulder ; and he shall be called tbe 
Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peacej 
there shall be no end." And looking forward to the extent 
and effects of his reign, he adds, " They shall not hurt nor| 
destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth sliairbe full 
of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." 
Daniel, in explaining Nebuchadnezzar's dream, arter dArib- 
ing the Babylonian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman 
empires, subjoins, " In the day of these kings," namely, the 
Roman emperors, " shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom 
which shall never be destroyed ; and the kingdom shall not," 
like the former, " be left to other people ; but it shall break in 
pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stcuid for 
ever." Again, he says, " I saw in the night visions, and be- 
hold one like the Son of Man came to the Ancient of Days, and 
there was given to him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, 
that all people, nations, and languages, should serve hini : his 
dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass 
away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.'^ 

Long before the appearance of John the Baptist, the Jews 
had been taught to expect that " the God of heaven" would, at 
a certain time, '^ without hands, set up a kingdom which should 
never be destrbyed." This heavenly kingdom was the econo- 
my of assortment which John introduced, and the baptism of 
John is called the beginning of the gospel, the epoch from 
which the New Testament is to be computed. " The law and 
the prophets were until John : since that time the kingdom of 
God is preached."* This came to pass in the fifteenth year 
of the reign of Tiberius Cesar, when Pontius Pilate was gover- 
nor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, and Annas and Caia- 
phas were high pries.ts. 

From the beginning of the world to this period good nnen 

* Mark 1:1,2. Luke 3:1,2. Acts 1:21,23. 

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THE WEL6H BAFTISTS* l^V; 

liad been in a condition of comparative imperfection. They 
Tvere individuals mixed and ccmfounded with numerous persons 
of opposite characters, in family, tribal, and national divisions. 
They never had been a people, but John was sent to asso- ^ 
ciate individuals, to. form a people, or, as an evangelist ex- 
presses it, " to make ready a people prepared for the Lord," and 
the revolution efected at this time was so substantial, that it is 
called a creation, a new age, a new world, of which Jesus, 
whom John proclaimed and introduced as chief, was declared 
the Creator and Lord, for John professed himself only a mes- • 
senger of Jesus, employed indeed in his service, but "not 
worthy to unloose the latchet of his shoes." 

John, it is supposed was bom at Hebron, and, if a judgment 
of his education may be formed by the character of his pa- 
rents, he was trained up in habits of piety and virtue, for " they 
were both righteous before Gkx!^ walking in all the commaikl- 
jments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." 

When he was about thirty years of age, in obedience to the 
heavenly call, he entered on his ministry, by quitting the hill- 
<50untry, and going down by the wilderness to the plains of 
Jordan, by proclaiming the kingdom of God, the near advent 
of the Messiah, and the necessity of preparing to receive him 
by laying aside sin and superstition, and by an exercise of 
universal justice, and lastly, by identifying the person of Jesus 
as the Messiah. He distributed various rules of righteousness 
among the different classes that attended his ministry. He 
said to soldiers, Do violence to no man ; he exhorted publicans 
to avoid exaction, and he taught the people benevolence, Let 
him that hath two coats impart to him that hath none ; and he 
directed all to Jesus as Master and Lord, in manifesting whom 
his ministry was to cease. His dress vas plain, his diet ab- 
stemious, and his whole deportment graye, serious, and severe. 
Multitudes, both of provincials apd citizens, flocked to hear 
him, and all held him as a prophet, and such as renounced 
their former sinful practices, and believed his predictions con? 
eerning the Christ, were baptized by him in the river Jordan, 
but the Pharisees and lawyers are to be excepted, for " they 
rejected, the counsel of God against themselves, and were not 
baptized of him." 

While John was employed in preaching and baptizing at 
Bethabara beyond Jordan, various reports were spread abroad 
of him, and as the people were in expectation of the Christ, all 
men mused in their h^urts whether he were the person or not, 
and the Jews of Jerusalem sent a deputation of priests and Le- 
vites to him to inquire what account lie gave of himself. Ho 

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IM BiiTotT or 

Mty answered all their questioiia. and informed tbem that he 
was not the Chnst, but the person, spoken of by Isaiah, sent 
before to prepare the way of the Lord, who stood th^i among 
them, but who was not then known. This was the day of tfae 
manifestation of Jesus* 

It is uneertain by what means John obtained an interview 
with Herod ; but, certain it is, he reproved him for living in 
adultery with Herodias his brether Philip's wife, and his Ian- 
guage was that of a man who well understood civil govern- 
ment, for he considered law as supreme ib a state, and told the 
kingi ^* It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife." 
Herodias was extremely displecised with John for his honest l 
freedom, and determined to destroy him ; but though she pre< 1 
vailed on the king to imprison him, 3ret she could not persuade 
him to put him to death. Two great obstacles opposed her 
design. Iferod himself was s^ked at the thought, fbr he had 
observed John, was con v meed of his piety and love of justice, 
be had received pleasure in hearing him, and had dope many 
things which John had advised him to do; and, as there is a 
dignity in innocence, the qualities of the man had struck him 
with an awe so deep and solemn, that, tyrant as he wi», hd 
could not think of taking away*the life of John. Herod also 
dreaded the resentment of the public, for he knew " the multi- 
tude held John as a prophet." Herodias therefore waited for 
a favorable opportunity to surprise the king into the^perpetra- 
tion of a crime, which neither justice nor policy could approve, 
and such an one she found on the king's birth-day. The story 
is at large in the gospel. Dreadful is the condition of a coun- 
try where any one man is above control, and can do what 
this absolute king did! Whether be felt, or only pretended to 
fbel, great sorrow, the feet was the same, he sent an execu- 
tioner, and commanded the head of the prophet to be brought, 
and John was assassinated in the prison. 

The murder did not sit easy on the recollection of Hero^, 
(or, soon after, when he heard of the fame of Jesus, his con- 
science exclaimed. It is John, whom I beheaded, he is risen 
from the dead I Certainly, John the Baptist will rise from the 
dead, and Iferod the tetrarch must meet him before an impar- 
tial Judge, who will reward or punish each according to the 
deeds done in the body. In the present case, the Judge hath 
declared the character of John. " John was a burning aiid a 
shining light. Among them that are born of women there 
hfl^th not risen a greater than John the Baptist." 

It was fef just and noble reasons, worthy of a wise and be« 
iiavolent mind, that Jesus estimated John so highly as to pro- 
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THB WELSH BAPTXBTSi 163 

flounce him as great a man as had been bom o{ women : t9 
which he added, the least in the kingdom of heaven was greater 
than he. It was a comparison between John and his prede- 
cessors, and John and his siiccessors, in framing the new eco- 
nomy. He W21S greater than his predecessors, because he first 
intnxiluced a moral assortment of Jews, a kingdom of heaven 
upon earth : he was less than the apostles, his successors, be% 
cause under the direction of Jesus, they brought his plan to 
perfection, by assorting and incorporating Jews and Gentiles 
in societies, expressly united for the improvement of the mind, 
the meliorating of the heart, and the regulation of the life, a 
compact practice of piety, and an uniform course of virtue, and 
so extending and establishing personal excellence, tending to 
unite all mankind in one family of universal love; and he wha 
under God gave a sketch of a design so pure, and so generous^ 
ought to be reputed one of the first characters among mankind. 
How great then must he be, the latchet of whose shoes this, 
great man was not worthy to unloose ? 

Whether John baptized by pouring on water* or by bathing 
in water, is to be determined chiefly, though not wholly, by 
fiscertaining the precise meaning of the word baptize. Native 
Greeks must understand their own language .letter than fi>.. 
reigners, and they have always understood the word baptism 
to signify dipping ; and therefore from theif first embracing 
of Christianity to this day they have always baptized, and do, 
yet baptize, by immersion. This is an authority for the mean- 
ing of the word baptize infinitely preferable to European lexi- 
cographers; so that a man, who is obliged to trust human tes- 
timony, and who baptizes by inftmersion, because the Greeks 
do, understands a Greek word exactly as the Greeks them-, 
selves understand \\; and. in this case, the Gi:eeks are unex-. 
ceptionable- guides, and their practice is, in this instance, safe 
ground of action. 

* The Syrians, the Armenians, the Persians, and all Eastern, 
Christians, have understood the Greek word baptism, to signify 
dipping, and agreeably to their own versions, they all, and al-. 
ways administer baptism by immersion. 

There is a propriety in acknowledging a believer in Christy 
a real character by baptism. It is giving him the name who. 
*hath the thing. To this sense of the word all circumstances 
find descriptions agree, as baptizing in the river Jordan — going 
down into the w&Xer^— coming up out of the water, buried it^ 
baptism, and the rest — sf> that the proper answer to the que»i 
|i^9. How did John* administer baptism? is. By immersion. 

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164 mSTOBT OF 

John baptised at Bethabara beyond Jordan. Here he re- 
ceived the messengers from Jemsalemyand bore that testimony 
of Jesus which is recorded in the first of John ; then he crowed 
the river, and baptized on the opposite side, which belonged to 
Reuben or Manasseh; and thus his ministry was extended 
through the region round about Jordan ; and here he delivered 
that testimony concerning Christ, which is record«i in the 
third chapter of John ; and this is what some call his seccmd 
baptismal station. The word Bethabara signifies a passage- 
house, and such there were on both sides of the river near the 
fords, and most likely they were houses to accommodate and 
direct travellers in times of low water, and ferry-houses for 
the convenience of passage, when floods and high waters ren- 
dered boats necessary. In the arabah, or plain sloping to- 
wards the ford, where the abutments of Judah, Benjamin, and 
Reuben met, near the mouth of the river, a little above the 
north bay of the lake Asphaltites, stood the town called Beth- 
abara. 

No places could be chosen more convenient for the baptism 
of immersion than these. Here was a gentle descent into 
water of sufficient depth; here were houses of accommodation; 
and fords wei;p public roads* 

The third station of John was at Enon, near Salim. Salim 
is diflferently written, as Saleim, ^alem, Salom, Schiloh, Za- 
leim, and so on. Enon was chosen for a place of baptism by 
John, because there was much water there. 

In the kingdom of heaven which John was forming, rank 
was nothing, superior faculties were nothing, moral excellence 
was all in all, and faith and repentance were indispensable 
qualifications for baptism; for on John's part there was no 
collusion, on that of his converts no blind credulity, and the 
individuals whom the Baptist fqrmed into a people -were dis? 
tinguished by three characters, a character of freedom, a cha- 
racter of piety, and a character of virtue. . 

1. A character offreedom.- John taught, but he employed 
no force, he used no allurements, offered no bribes, nor did 
any thing to give an unworthy bias. He published a fact, of 
the truth of which all the world was lefl free to judge, and it 
was a circumstance highly favorable to his doctrine, that no 
power in being took it under patronage. It was lefl in th^ 
country among the common people, wholly to itself, at a dis* 
tance from the court, the temple, and the army, and msoiy of 
his hearers fully examined, and freely entered on the.econo* 
my; for they had nothing but conviction to ipduce them to act 
as they dfd. 

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THS WELSH BAPTISTS. 165 

2. A character of piety* The fact was contained in the 
prophecies, and the disciples of John believed them, giving 
themselves up by baptism to the guidance of him whomsoever 
Grod had appointed Lord of the economy, whenever it should 
please God to make him known. 

3. A character of virtue. I baptize you, said John, a*, or 
upon your repentance^ ydur invincible abhorrence of sin, 
manifested by fruits meet for repentance, that is, by reforma- 
tion. Except in one instance, John baptized only persons hav- 
ing these characters. 

This one instance was the baptism of Jesus. In perfect 
freedom, with eminent piety and virtue, but without any pro- 
fession of repentance, Jesus was baptized. By this he entered 
on his public ministry. 

To Bethabara, amidst a great multitude of spectators, in 
presence of those who had been baptized, and were now in 
waiting for him, "-a people prepared for the Lord," and while 
John was conversing with the deputation from Jerusalem, Je- . 
sus came to be baptized, giving by hiS conduct, as well €is by 
his language to John, the most unequivocal proof of his entire 
approbation of water baptism. Thus it becometh us to fulfil 
all righteousness. The very handsome and respectful manner 
in which John received Jesus, and the conversation that passed 
between them, no doubt, hdd up Jesus to the multitude as some 
person of singular merit, produced a pause, and a profound 
silence, and attracted every eye to behold the man. Immedi- 
ately after John, had baptized Jesus, he went up out of the 
water praying, and while he was going up, the clouds parted, 
and a bright line appeared hovering over him, falling and ris- 
ing, rising and falling, as a dove hovers when it is about to 
alight, an I at 4ength settling on him. This was placing his 
whole person in full view, so that his features could not be 
mistaken, and, to those who saw him, his face must ever after 
have been the best known. face in Judea. While the specta- 
tors were beholding this new eiid strange appearance, a voice 
from heaven said, " This is my beloved Son, in whom I am 
well pleased." John seeing the promised sign, exclaimed, 
addressing himself to the deputation from Jerusalem, " This 
is he of whom I said, he that: cometh after me is preferred be- 
fore me ;" and he repeated the same record the two succeeding 
days, on seeing Jesus walking, an^d so engaged his disciples to 
deliver themsMves up to the Son of God, which was the chief 
design of his ministry. 

Jesus Christ, before his death, promised his apostles, that 
after his resurrection he would meet them on a mountain in 

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166 HI8T01IT OF 

Galilee.* Immediately after his re^urrectton, the angel, who 
informed the women at the sepulchre that he was risen, direct- 
ed them to go quickly and tell his distoiples that he was lisea 
from the dead, and that he was goin^ hefbre them into GaHfee, 
and that there they should see Wm.f As they were going to 
deliver the message, Jesus himself met them, and repeated Ae 
order, " Go tell my brethren, that they go into Galilee, and 
there they shall see me." In the forty days between his 
resurrection and ascension, he had many interviews with his 
disciples, in which he instructed, them in the things pertaining 
to the kingdom of God. Baptism was one of these things, and 
of this he chose to speak in the most public manner on the 
moantain in Galilee to above " five hundred brethren at once." 
It is not very material whether this were the third, the eighth, 
or the last appearance of Christ to his disciples, in which " be 
showed himself alive after his passion by many infaHiUe 
proo&, and spoke to them of the things pertaining to the king- 
dom of God.'':|: 

To the assembly on the mountain, " Jesus came, and spake 
unto them, saying. All power is given unto me in heaven and 
in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing 
them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost : teaching them to observe all thin^ whatsoever 
I have commanded you : and I am with you alway, even imto 
the end of the world."§ It is a glorious example of that b^oe- 
volence with which Jesus used the vast powers committed to 
his trust. 

The authenticity of this passage is allowed by all Christians, 
but they differ very much in expounding it; and three classes 
of expositors deserve attention ; the first enlarge, the second 
diminish, the third supersede the meaning of the passage. 

Without entering into verbal criticisms, upon which the 
Christian religion doth not stand, for it is supported by Ia<^ 
true qnd demonstrative, and not by hypothetical reasonings 
confined only to a few learned men, it is observable, that one 
class of expositors so expound the text, as to give it a much 
wider extent than Jesus intended, for tjiey make it an autho- 
rity from him to baptize infants, though they are not mention- 
ed, and though there is not either precept or precedent for the 
practice. The order runs, " teach all nations, baptizing them." 
The thing speaks for itself, the style is popular, the sense plain, 
and it must mean either to baptize whole natidhs, or such of 

* Matt. 26:33. Mwk 14:2a t Matt. 88:7—10. 

t Acta 1:3. $ Matt. 28:18, Slc 

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THB WELSH BAPTISTS. 167 

wd\ naticHis ba receive your instructk^is, and desire to be bap* 
dzed. The first is too gross to be admitted, because it cannot 
be efiected without force, and the grossness of the one instantly 
turns the mind to the other, the j^ain and true sense. In the 
principles of the kingdom of Christ there is neither fraud nor 
force, nor is it suitable to the dignity of the Lord Jesus to take 
one man by conviction, and his ten children by surprise. 

The practice of the apostles, who understood the words, no 
doubl, is the best esqposition of the language. Did they bap- 
tiase any whole. nation, or city, or village? yet they described 
the baptism of individuals in a style similar to that of the 
iieords in question. The following is an example : ** Philip 
•went down to the dty of Samaria, and preached Christ unto 
them," and such as believed Philip, preaching "the things 
concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Clirist, 
were baptized, both men and womwu*'* The history of this 
is thus described by Luke. " The apostles which were at Je- 
rusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God,'* 
not the whole country called Samaria, not the whole city of the 
same name, not Simon and his adherents, inhabitants of the 
Ciity, but such only as believed Philip^ had received the word 
of God, and were baptized. 

The same Philip baptized the Eunuch, but not his servants ; 
for Christianity is a personal, not a family, or national af- 
fair.f Some families were baptized, but it was only when 
each person of each family was a believer, and not always 
then. Crispus4 the chief ruler of the synagogue at Corinth, 
" believed cwi the Lord with all his house," yet Paul " baptized 
none but Crispus";" for there might be very good reasons for 
the other believers in his family to defer their baptism.§ The 
Jailer at Philippi " believed in God with all his house," there- 
fore " he was baptized, and all his straightway."|| The house- 
hold ef Lydia were brethren who i^ere ccmiforted by the apos- 
tles.ir The family of Stephanas of Corinth, which Paul bap- 
tized, were the "first fruits of Achaia, and addicted themselves 
to the ministry of the saints," that is, to assist the deacons in 
relieving the poor.** 

In the days of the apostles, it. was argument to tell, " multi- 
tudes were added both of men and women. ft The word of 
God increased, and the number of the disciples multiplied in 
Jerusalem, and a great company of the priests were obedient 

♦Acts 8:5— 14. t Ibid, verw 30. 

tAcUilS-A «1 Cor. 1:14. 

U Acta 16:31—33. ^A^^ts 16:16, 40. 

*• 1 Cor. 1:16; 16:15. tt Acts 5:14. 

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166 BI8TOBT OF 

to the fmtk.* The same day there were added unto thet« 
mbout three thousand souls-f What is the reason that tJtm it 
no argument now ? Fur&er, it is inquired, whether the txam^ 
ing of whole nations into Christian churches, so that ti^re is 
no world, but all is church, have not deprived Christianity d 
that noble argument which the purity of the doctrine of Chii^ 
af^rded. The few upright lose the evidence of their ** shin- 
ing as lights in the world" in the vast multitude of wicked cha- 
racters, among whom they «re obscured, confbunckd, and lost 
Of what national church can it.be said, the people are ^ holy, 
harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners?" What na- 
tion, if they observe the direction of apostolical epistles, durst 
claim a letter directed " to them that are sanctified in Christ 
Jesus, called to be saints 1":^ To such a change, say they, it 
is owing that infidelity abounds; and a Christianity of this 
kind admits of no defence. 

The state of baptism during the lives of the apostles, is to be 
gathered fVom the book of Acts written by Luke, the first ec- 
clesiastical historian. It extends from the ascension of Chri^ 
to the residence of Paul at Rome, a space of more than thirty 
years. The book is full of information, and in regard to bap- 
tism, it informs by what it does not say, as well as by what is 
reported. For example : The historian relates the baptism of 
many prosel5rtes — as Cornelius, the Ethiopian Eunuch, and 
others — on their profession of Christianity; of course, the ad- 
ministrators did not know of such a custom as proselyte-bap- 
tism, or they did not understand proselyte- washing to be bap- 
tism, or they practised anabaptism, which is not credible. 

There are frequent narrations of the baptism of believers, but 
not one infant appears in the whole history; yet, no doubt, 
some Christians had married, and had young families within 
the thirty years between the ascension of Jesus and the settle- 
ment of Paul at Rome. 

There is no m^ition of any of the ceremonies which modem 
Christians have affixed to baptism : no consecration of water, 
no sprinkling, no use of oils and unguents, no sponsors, no 
kneeling in the water, no trine immersion, no catechumen- 
state, no giving a name, no renunciation of any demon, none 
of the innumerable additions, which, under pretence of adorn- 
ing, have obscured the glory of this heavenly institute. It be- 
longs to those who practise such additions, to say how they 
came by them, and uncter what master they serve. 

In conformity to these predictions concerning the kingdom) 

•Acti6;^ tlh.3:41. 11 Cor. 13. 

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THE WBLSn BAPTI8T9. 169 

»r the Messiah, our Savior also declares the extensive spread 
>f* his religion. '' The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached 
n all the world, for a witness to all nations." Accordingly 
bvlien he gave his apostles their commission, he said, ^' Go ye 
into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." 
rhe Jewish economy was like a light whose feeble rays are 
^^onfined to one house : but Christianity resembles the glorious 
z>rb of day distributing his bright beams to the whole of the 
human family. Though it was certain, from the sublimity of 
tlie doctrines of the gospel, the spirituality of its precepts, its 
tendency to humble the pride of man, its contrariety to the 
idolatry and superstition which had for so many ages existed 
in th6 world, that the apostles would meet with much opposi- 
tion in the. faithful and zealous discharge of their ministerial 
duties; yet our Savior, in his address to Peter, concerning his 
excellent confession, says, " Upon this Rock will I build my 
oliurch ; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." 
Oamaliel, speaking to his fellow senators, reasoned wisely and 
conclusively, " If this counsel or this work, be of men, it will 
come to nought : but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it." 
On the first promulgation of Christianity at Jerusalem, the 
capital of Judea, its progress was rapid and considerable. Our 
Savior, at the beginning of his public ministry, chose twelve 
persons to attend him, and then seventy disciples, whom he 
sent by two and two before his face, into every place whither 
he himself would go. The ministry of the seventy disciples 
was successful, for he says, *' I beheld Satan as lightning fall 
from heaven;" and they " rejoiced, that the devils were sub- 
ject unto them, through his name." At the ascension of our 
Savior, probably the most part of -the members of his church 
were present, for " he was seen of above five hundred breth- 
ren at once." On the day of Pentecost, such was the power 
of divine grace attending the ministry of the word, that " there 
were added about three thousand souls." Soon after, such was 
the efficacy of the gospel, that the sacred historian uses this 
language, " Many of them who heard the word, believed ; and 
the number of the men," exclusive of the women, *' was about 
five thousand." Again, he says, " Believers were the more 
added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women." Nay, 
what is still more remarkable, that "a great company of 
the priests were obedient to the faith." Thus the promise 6f 
our Savior to his apostles was accomplished, " I will give you 
a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be 
able to gainsay nor resist." 
16 

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170 nisTORY OP 

On the death of Stephen, the pfoto-martyf, matiy of the 
members of the Christian church at Jerusalem, were •♦ scat, 
tered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, 
pxcept the apostles." Soon after, Saul of Tarsus, aAerwards 
called Paul, who had been an active agent in this persecution, 
became a sound c^svert to the fhith of Christ, and a zealous 
apostle in propagating the Christian religion among the Gen- 
tiles ; to whom our Savior sent him, " to open their eyes, and 
to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of 
Satan unto God." His zealous etertions in the cause of Chris- 
tianity were attended with such happy results, that from the 
testimony of his enemies it is stated, " Ye see and hear, that 
not alone at Ephesus, but almost through all Asia, this Paul 
hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying, that 
they be no gods which are made with hands." And such 
were the effects produced by the mini&try of all the apostles 
and their associates, in various countries, that, as Dr. Paley 
observes, before the end of thirty years from the death, resur- 
rection, and ascension of our Savior, the Christian religion had 
spread itself through Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, almost all 
the numerous districts of the Lesser Asia, through Greece, and 
the islands of the .^Egean sea, the sea coast of Africa, and had 
extended itself to Rome, and into Italy. At Antioch in Syria, 
at Joppa, Ephesus, Corinth, Thessalonica, Berea, Iconium, 
Derbe, Antioch in Pisidia, at Ludda, Saron, the number of 
converts is intimated by the expressions, ** a great number — 
great multitudes — much people." Converts are mentioned, 
without any designation of their number, at Tyre, Cesarea, 
Troas, Athens, Philippi, Lystra, and Damascus.* 

Thus the apostles, through the divine blessing, though desti- 
tute of the advantages of birth, education, fortune — without 
secular terrors to affright, pecuniary rewards to bribe, or daz- 
zling eloquence to enchant — armed with nothing but faith, 
truth, goodness — yet encountered the power of princes, the 
bigotry of priests, the learning of philosophers, the rage of the 
populace, the prejudices of all — and were honored with amaz- 
ing success ! AH the literary acquirements and sarcasm of 
the Greeks and Romans were employed to ridicule the gospel, 
and prevent its progress; and the potentates of the earth drew 
the sword against it, armed their legions for effecting its over- 
throw, but without their accomplishing their malicious designs; 
which evidentl)^ proves an extraordinary interposition of God. 
Had the infidel wits of the present age seen the apostles, when 
entering on their arduous and unexampled labors, they would 



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THE WEL8H BAPTISTS. It I 

sneerin^y have derided the attempt, saying, as Sanhallat did 
long before, " What will these feeble Jews dot" But had they 
seen the astonisfaitig event, surely they must have owned, with 
the Egyptian magi, in a less illustrious miracle, " This is the 
finger of God!" 

Tacitus, in giving a relation of a ^reat lire that happened at 
Rome, in the tenth year of Nero, which Concludes with the 
thirtieth after Christ's ascension, speaking of the Christians, 
says, " They had their denomination from Christus, who, in 
the reign of Tiberius, was put to death as a criminal, by the 
procurator Pontius Pilate." 

The doctrine of uninterrupted succession is necessary only 
to such churches as regulate their faith and practice by tradi- 
tion, and for their use it was first invented. 

But a Baptist has not the least trouble about what is called 

a lineal or apostolical succession. His line of succession is in 

' faithful taea, and it is a matter of indifierence with them, when 

or where they lived, by what name they were called, or by 

whom they were baptized or ordained. 

Notwithstanding all theU has been said to the contrary, we 
still date the origin of our sentiments, and the bi^nmngof our 
denomination, about the year of our Lord twenty-nine or thir- 
ty ; for at that period John the Baptist began to immerse pro- 
fessed believers in Jordan and Enon, and to prepare the way 
for the coming of the Lord's Anointed, and for the setting up 
of his kingdom » 

A Baptist is one, who holds that a profession of faith, and 
an immersion in water are essential to baptism. 

Christ's disciples began to congregate into churches, soon 
after he left the earth. The church at Jerusalem was formed 
the evening of the glorious day of his ascension, in an upper 
room, and consisted of about a hundred an4 twenty believing 
men and women. The persecution, which arose about the 
time of Stephen's death, caused ell the disciples of Jesus, ex- 
cept the apostles, to leave Jerusal^n. They proceeded out 
every way, like the radii of a circle from the centre, and 
formed churches in many places — first in Palestine, then ir 
other parts of Asia, and lastly in Europe. 

Mr. Robinson has shown that the apostles and primitive 
preachers gathered churches in between sixty and sevaity dif* 
ferent cities, towns, and provinces, and in many instanceif a 
number were gathered in each. These churches were all 
composed of reputed believers, who had been baptized by im- 
mersion on the profession of thdr faith. Their bishops and 
aiders were merely overseers of their spiritual flocks ; they 

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173 BisTOBT or 

claimed no right to lord it over God's heritage; every cbiiroft| 
waa an indq)endent body, and no one claimed a right to regOM 
late the affairs of another. If they met in council, as they dii 
at Jerusalem, it was to advise, not to give law. 

Christians of these sentiments have existed in every age, and 
their number has been larger than their friends generally 
imagine, or than their opposers are ever willing to acknow* 
ledge. The first Christians were undoubtedly all Baptists, and{ 
we believe they will all be Baptists again, when they are all 
brought to keep the ordinances of Christ as they were first de- 
livered to the saints. For almost three centuries, baptism was 
in the main rightly administered by all parties, for they all re- 
quired a profession of faith, and all immersed. 

We do not pretend that the primitive saints were called Bap- 
tists ; all went under the general denomiaation of Christians, 
and when they began to file off into parties, they took the 
names of the men by whom they were led. It is not the his- 
tory of a name, but the prevalence of a principle, of which we 
are in search. No denomination of Protestants con trace the 
origin of its name farther back than about the time of %e Re- 
formation, and most of them have originated since that period. 
And I suppose it was about this time that our brethren began 
to be called Baptists. And I am inclined to think that they 
assumed the name in opposition to that of Anabaptists, with 
which their enemies were continually reproaching them. But 
that all the primitive Christians would have Seen called Bap- 
tists, if sentimental names had then been in use, and that there 
always has been a people on earth, from the introduction of 
Christianity, who have held the leading sentiments by which 
they now are, and always have been peculiarly distinguished, 
is a point which I most firmly believe, and which I shall now 
attempt to prove. 

I know that all denominations take this ground, and attempt 
to prove that their sentiments have existed from the Apostles 
through every age. The Catholic pretends that his church is 
of Apostolic origin, and was founded by St. Peter, and he can 
easily prove that a very large portion of the Christian world 
has, for many centuries, been, and now is, of his belief. The 
Churchman pleads that all the first Christians were Episcopa- 
lians, and that. Bishops Paul, Peter, Timothy, and Titus, go- 
yarned the churches; and he moreover supposes that Paul's 
parchment, which he left at Troas, contained his episcopal 
authority. The Presbyterians, Independents, Congregational- 
ists, Quakers, Methodists, and all, contend that their churches 
are built after the Apostolic model. And even the Shaking 

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TBB WBLIB BArri8T0« 173 

iQuaker, although he can make no good pretension to Aposto- 
lical succession, yet claims relation to the hundred and forty- 
four thousand who have not defiled themselves with women. 
I am BQt about to dispute the pretensions or proofs of any one 
sect in Christendom* It is not my object to show what is not 
true respecting them, but what is true rei^)ecting ourselves. 
The Episcopalian can find Bishops, and the Presbyterian, El- 
ders or Presbyters, among the primitive Christians, and the 
Congregationalist and Independent, have good grounds for 
saying that the Apostolic churches, were of their belief re- 
specting church government The Baptists believe in Episco- 
pacy and Presbyterianism or Eldership, when explained ac- 
cording to their sense of the terms. They hold to the zeal of 
the Methodists, and the inward light of the Quakers, when re- 
gulated and explained according to their sense of propriety and 
correctness. With most denominations ^ey find something 
with which they agree. But in the article of baptism they dif- 
fer from all. While their brethren all around admit infants to 
baptism, (the Quakers excepted,) they have always confined 
the rite to professed believers, and a baptism without an im- 
mersion is, in their opinion, •*' like a guinea without gold." 

The Baptists have been distinguished from other sects, not 
only in their views of the subjects and mode of baptism, but 
they have always held to other sentiments peculiar to them- 
selves, and which they consider essential important truths, but 
which their opponents have branded with the name of danger- 
ous errors, or damnable heresies. 

The supporters. of believer's baptism have, under every form 
of government, been the advocates of liberty ; and for this 
reason, they have never flourished much except in those go- 
vernments where some degree of freedom has been maintained. 
Arbitrary states have always oppressed them, and driven them 
for refuge to milder regions. They, cannot live in tyranni- 
cal states, and free countries are the only places to seek for 
them, for their whole public religion is impracticable without 
freedom.* In political changes tliSy have always been friendly 
to the cause of liberty, and their passion for it has at diffinrent 
times led some into acts of indiscretion, and scenes of danger. 
But with a few exceptions, we may say in truth, that the Bap- 
tists have always adhered to their leading maxim, to be <<sul>- 
ject to the powers that be;" and all the favor they as Christians 
have a^sked of civil goverpmepts, has been — to give them their 
BibleSf and let th^ aJane^ The interference of the mi^is- 
trate in the afikirs of conscience, they have never courted, but 
have always protested against* C)assiei^l antbority sod priestt 

w * 

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174 HtsTosT or 

ly dootimation, they h&ve ever opposed aad abhorred, »idtlift 
equality of Christians as s»ch, and the absolute indepeikl^Ky 
of churches, they have most serupulously maintained* Leam* 
ing they hav<e esteemed in its proper place ; but they have ako 
uniformly maintauaed, that the servants of God may preaci 
his gospel without it. The, distinction between their ministen 
and bi^thren is less than in almost any other denominati(Hi of 
Christians; whatever abilities their ministers possess, they i^ 
duce them to the capacity of mere teachers^ and they OMisider 
all not only at liberty, but moreover bound to exercise, under 
proper regulations, the gifts they may possess, for the edifica* 
ticMi of their brethren. 

From the New Testament account of the primitive Chris* 
tians, we believe that they were Baptists. But we will 
quote the accounts given of them by two authors, and thoithe 
reader may judge 1^ himself. Mosheim was no friend to the 
Baptists, and yet he has made many irap(»'tant concessions in 
their favor ; and in relating the history of the primitive church, 
he has given a description, which will not certainly apply to 
his own church, the Lutheran, nor to any sect in Christendoni 
except the Baptists. " Baptism,'** he observes, " was adminis- 
tered in the first century without the public assemblies, in 
places appointed for that purpose^ and was performed by ini« 
mersion of the whole body in water." By this account it ap- 
pears that the first Christians went " streaming away, (as Dr. 
Osgood would say,) to some pond or river" to be baptized, 
Respecting church discipline, the same writer observes : '* The 
churches in those early times were entirely independent, none 
of them subject to any foreign jurisdiction, but each one g(h 
verned by its own rulers and laws. For though the churches, 
founded by the Apostles, had this particular deference shown 
them, that they were consulted in difficult and doubtful cases, 
yet they had^no juridical authority, no sort of supremacy ovei 
the others, nor the least right to enact kws for them. Nothing 
on the contrary is more evident than the perfect equality thai 
reigned among the primitive churches,"* and so on* "A 

* Respecting the council of Jerusalem, Mosheim has the following noi^ 
Vol, 1, page 105: — "The meeting of the chuich af Jerusalem, mentionedin 
the 15th chapter of the Acts, is commonly considered as ihe first Cktiftiat 
council. But this notion arises front the manifest abuse of the woid comd 
That meeting was only of one church ; and if sueh a raceting be calkd > 
counciltit wnl follow that there w6re innumerable councils in the primitirt 
limes. But every one knows, that a council is an assembly of d^iwor 
conuni&sio^ers sent from several ch^jrches a§iBociatcd by certain bonds io » 
general tKxly, and therefore tl?e supposiiion above mentioned, falls to the 
ground." Mosheim appears to understand the word council in a high eock- 
^H^aiiDtl sens?, and in tlii^ point of view iii^QbBipnratidQS are doubden correct; 

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THE WELSH KAMnffrS, 175 

Itthop, daring the first and second centaries, was a person who 
lad the care of one Christian assembly, which at that tim^ 
iras, generally speaking, small enough to be contained in a 
irivate house. In this cissembly, he acted not so much with 
-he authority of a master, as with the zeal and diligence of ^ 
faithful servarU,^^^ and so on. 

"There was," says Robinson, "aniong primitive Chris* 
ians, an uniform belief that Jesus was the Christ, and a per^ 
feet harmony of affection. When congregations multiplied, so 
that they became too numerous to assemble in one place, they 
parted into separate companies, and so again and again, but 
there was no schism; on the contrary, all held a common 
union, and a member of one company was a member of alU 
[f any person removed from one place to reside at another, he 
received a letter of attestation, which w€is given and taken as 
proof; and this custom very prudently precluded the intrusion 
of impostors. In this manner was framed a catholic or univer- 
sal church. One company never pretended to inspect the afi 
fairs of another, nor was there any dominion, or any shadow 
of dominion, ov«r the consciences of any individuals. Overt 
acts were the only objects of censure, and censure was nothing 
but voting a man out of the community." 

Let any candid man compare the different denominations of 
Christians, of the prcscnt day, witlt these descriptions of tha 
primitive chutch, and he will, we think, be at no loss to deter- 
mine which comes the nearest to it. But Mr. Robinson goes 
farther, and determines the matter just as a Baptist believes. 
" During the three first centuries, Christian congregations all 
over the East, subsisted in separate, independent bodies, un- 
supported by government, and consequently without any secu-j 
lar power over one another. All this time they were Baptist 
churches, and though all the fathers of the four first ages dowr\ 
to Jerome, were t)f Greece, Syria, and Africa, and though they 
gave great numbers of histories of the baptism of adults, yet 
there is not one record of tjic baptism of a. child till the yea^^ 

but according to the Ideas which a Baptist r»ould affix to the t^rm eovncil, I 
flee no impropriety in applying it to this aseembly.^ But I find our brethreri 
differ in their opinions respectine the nature of this council, whether it was. 
advisory or authoritative. Dr^ Gill gives the decisions of this assembl)^, no 
higher name than acbtc*, sentiments, determinations, &c., and in this pomt of 
view, I think it proper to consider theni^ But it ought to be observed, at the 
same time, that the advice of so respectable a body as the apostolic mother 
church at Jerusalem, assisted in its dehberations by the apostles and elders,^ 
and all acting under the influence of the Holy Ghost, became a law ox a rula 
•f action to the church at Antioch, and ta other Christians in the pri^ivjiv^ 
ages. *• This advice," says Dr. Gill, " was regarded as fi l^w," &,c. 
* Woalieifn, Vol. 1, pp, 103, 104, 105, 1^, 

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176 HWTORY OF 

870, when Galatej, the d3ring son of the emperor Valens, was 
baptized by order of a monarch, who swore he would not be 
contradicted. The age of the prince is uncertain, and the as* 
signing of his illness as the cause of his baptism indicates 
clearly enough that infant baptism was not in practice." 

But the primitive Baptist churches, in process of time, be* 
came corrupted with many errors, and with infant baptism 
among the rest. And when Constantino established Chris- 
tianity as the religion of his empire, errors, which befbre had 
taken root, soon grew up to maturity, the Christian church, as 
established by law, became a worldly sanctuary, and those 
who would maintain the gospel in its purity, were obliged to 
separate from the great mass of professors, and retire to the 
best refuges they could find. 

Pliny, the younger, in a letter written to the emperor Trajan, 
concerning the Christians, not quite eighty years after Christ's 
ascension, says to him, ** Suspending all judicial proceedings, 
I have recourse to you for advice ; for it has appeared to me 
a matter highly deserving consideration, especially on account 
of the great number of persons who are in danger of sufl^ring: 
for many of all ages, and of every rank, of both sexes likewise, 
are accused, and will be accused. Nor has the contagion of 
this superstition seized cities only, but the lesser towns also, 
and the open country."* 

Justin, surnamed the Martyr, who embraced Christianity 
about the year 132, in his dialogue with Trypho, a noted Jew, 
(which he wrote about thirty years after Pliny, and 106 after 
the ascension,) has these remarkable words : " There is no 
nation, whether of Barbarians or Greeks, or any others, by 
what names soever they are called, whether they live in wag- 
gons, or without houses, or in tents, among whom prayers ars 
not made, and thanksgiving- offered up, to the Father and Ore* 
ator of all, through the name of the crucified Jesus. "f 

IrensDUs, who was made bishop of Lyons, in the year of our 
Lord 179, states, "This preaching of the gospel, and this 
faith, the church scattered up and down the whole world main- 
tains, as inhabiting one house, and believes it with one heart 
and soul, teaches and preaches it as with one mouth; for 
though there be different languages in the world, yet the force 
of tradition, or of that doctrine that has been delivered to the 
church, is but one and the same.**:}; 

TertuUian, of Carthage, who flourished about the n^iddle of 

* a Plin. Trftjano, Imp. lib. z. e|>. 97. 

t DiaL cam Tryfk, p, 34&. 

t A^venut Hsresefli li)», 3, i^^ft. 9k |»g. BO. 99^ 

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mm WKLSn BAPTISTS. 177 

He second century, and wrv>te probably not more than twenty 
rears after Irensus, gives a larger, account, and mentions 
Britain by name* Quoting the words of David, Psalm 19:4, 
IS applicable to the apostles, *' Their line is gone out through 
ill the earth, and their words to the end of the world." "In 
kvho^i," says he, *' have all the nations of the earth believed, 
3Ut in Christ 1 Not only Parthians, and Modes, and Elamites, 
uid the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea, and Cappa- 
docia, in Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt, 
and in the parts of Lybia and Cyrene, and strangers at Rome, 
Jews and proselytes, and the other nations ; .but also the boun- 
daries of the Spaniards, all the different nations of the Gauls, 
and those parts of Britain which were inaccessible to the 
Romans, are become subject to Christ." He goes on to say, 
afler enumerating other nations, " In all which the name of 
Christ reigns, because he is now come ; before whom the gates 
of all cities are set open,* and none shut ; before whom doors 
of brass fly open, and bars of iron are snapt asunder; that is, 
these hearts once possessed by the devil, by faith in Christ aro 
set open."* 

Origen, who flourished about the yealfcof our Lord 220, 
speatong of the prophecies which the Jews themselves allowed 
to refer to the advent of the Messiah, and particularly on the 
words, " the whole earth shall shout for joy," he says, " The 
miserable Jews acknowledge that this is spoken of the presence 
of Christ ; but they are stupidly ignorant of the person, though 
they see the words fulfilled. 'Quando enim terra Britannise 
ante adventum Christi, in unius Dei consensit, religionem ;' 
when, before the advent of Christ, did the land of Britain 
A6REB in the worship of one God ? When did the land of 
the Moors.— ^w hen did the whole globe at once agree in this ? 
But now, on account of the churches, which are spread to the 
uttermost bounds of the world, the whole earth, with rejoicing 
mvokes the God of Israel."f Origen tells Celsus what waa 
the cause of this extensive and rapid spread of the Christian 
religion:' "The first preachers who planted Christian churches, 
ihe\r sermons had a mighty force of persuasion above those 
who taught the philosophy of Plato, or of any other man en- 
dowed only with the power of human nature ; but the persua- 
sion of the apostles of Jesus Christ was given of God, persuad- 
ing men to believe by the efficacy and power of the Holy Spi- 
rit; and therefore quickly and swiftly did: their word run 
through the world, or rather the word of God, by their ininia« 

* Adversus Judaeos, cap. 7, pag. m. 92, 
. t Origen Op, vol, -^, pag. 370, 

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Its HUTOBY OF 

try converting many siniiers from the evil .of their ways, 
whom no man could have changed by whatever pumshmaats, 
but the word of God converted them according to the will of 
God."* 

Eusebius, a learned and inquisitive historian, says, " Innu- 
merable multitudes of people, in all cities and countries, like 
corn in a welL-filled granary, being brought in by the grace of 
God that brings salvation. * They whose minds were hereto- 
fore distempered and overrun with the error and idolatry of 
their ancestors, were cured by the sermons and miracles of 
our Lord's disciples : so after shaking off these chains of 
darkness and slavery, which the mercUess demons had put 
upon them, they freely embraced and entertained the know- 
ledge and service of the only true God, the great Creator of 
the world, whom they worshipped according to the rites and 
rules of that divine and wisely contrived religion which our 
Savior had introduced."t In the third book of his Evemgelical 
Demonstration, having named Romans, Persians^ ArraenieinS) 
Parthians, Indians, and Scythians, as people among whom the 
apostles preached the gospel of Christ, he mentions particularly 
that some of them ftessed over the ocean to the British islands. 
That some of the apostles preached the gospel in the British 
islands, he was probably informed by Constantino himself, to 
whom he was well known ; or received it from some of the 
emperor's countrymen, who were then in his court ; or of the 
British bishops, summoned to the council of Nice, where, in 
all likelihood, some of them made their appearance. 

While the red horse of war was prancing in wanton fury on 
the banks of Britain, trampling on the full ripe blossdms of its 
youth, and in the glory of its strength — while the sleepless 
sword was extending its ravages, and while miseries were niul. 
tiplymg, without any prospect of a suitable remedy, behold, the 
feet of them that bring good tidings of great joy, that publish 
peace and salvation, that say unto Zion thy God reignelh, ad- 
vance toward the British isle. Yea, behold the heralds <^ the 
Redeemer, carrying in their hands the torch of everlasting 
truth, and in their hearts the zeal of the Lord of hosts, enter 
Wales, and commence their labors of love in Llanilltyd Vawr,| 
in the vale of Glamorgan. § 



* CJontra Celsum, lib. 3, p. 129, 

t Hist. Eccl. lib. 2, cap. 3, 

t Lantwit major, the port where the missionaries first landed and entered oa 
their mission. 

$ A county of South Wales. The vale of Glamorgan is a rich and extend- 
ed district of the county, proverKally called the garden of yVales. 



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Tn^ WBLSlt BAPTIS-M* It 9 

The names of the mission&r^ were Illtyd, Kyndaf, and 
ArwyHlFy. While in Rome as prisoners of war, they were 
brought to the glorious liberty of the children of Gk)d, and be- 
came teachers of the Christian religion* 

These missionaries of the cross became instrumental in turn- 
ing many Britons from theie ignorance to- the -knowledge of 
Christ; and Druids, not a few, becarne obedient to the faith. 

The supposition that Paul preached the gospel in Britain is 
not altogether without foundation. About six years ago, a 
polished stone, of about eight feet in length, was found embo- 
somed eight feet deep in the earth, near Llandilo Vawr, in 
Carmarthenshire, with this inscription upon it in the Welsh 
language : *' Near this place has the apostle Paul been preach- 
ing the gospel — A. D. 64." 

While the missionaries were incessant in labor, and indefa- 
tigably exercising their ministrations among their benighted 
countrymen, some informed the British king that certain per- 
sons were spreading a new religion, altogether different from 
the ancient religion of the country. The king, consequently, 
summoned the preachers to appear before him and his princes, 
on a certain day, which summons they obeyed. When the 
accused made their appearance before the court, the king in- 
quired of them what were their principles, and whence they 
had been taken. One of them replied, " Ye honorable men, 
the God of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things, whether 
visible, or invisible, hath sent us to declare unto you, that he 
is the only object of virorship,.and that if you believe in him, 
and cast avi'ay your idols, you shall have eternal life in hea- 
ven." Then he proceeded to describe the condition of man 
by nature, and our salvation by Jesus Christ. Then the king 
and his princes answered, " We find no fault in your offers, 
and could we believe that they were true, we would, peradven- 
ture, submit ourselves to what you require. But we, (praise 
to tbe tutelary gods,) live secure by following the religion of 
the country. And we may be rash and unwise, if we renounce 
the religion of the fathers and listen to your tales ; but as we 
have been informed that you are intelligent, peaceable men, we 
declare unto you, that you shall not be in need of support. 
And as many as you may prevail upon to become proselytes, 
peace be to them. But w'e will adhere to the religion of the 
state." Thus the missionaries were dismissed from the British 
throne with almost Gallio-like indifference. Yet the British 
king had no disposition to stop them in their career of benevo- 
lence, but encouraged them in the continuance of well-doing, 
with a promise of protection and patronage. 

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180 HiBTomy of 

Meyric Gwawdrydd, the 'sovereign of Britaui» tog^Ui^r with 
his soa Coel, and Aiivog) the chief prince of his host, were al* 
most persuaded to become Christians; but still they loved the 
honor which cometh from men rather than that which ccnneth 
from God, by adhering to Druidical superstitions and rejecdng 
the claims of the Christian religion. " Not many wise men 
after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. 
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to con- 
found the wise : and God hath chosen the weak things of the 
world to confound the things which are mighty, and base things 
of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen, 
yea, and things that sure not to bring to nought things that 
are." Thus it was in Britain :. while the king and many of 
his princes and nobles were following their heathenish practices, | 
the common people, seeing the miracles wrought, and witness- 
ing the power of divine grace exemplified in the lives of those 
who had been, heretofore, the most abandoned and desperate 
characters, were melted into submission to the faith of Jesus 
Christ, and vast numbers rallied around the standard of the 
cross ; and in contrasting the present peaceful habits of these 
Christian converts with . their former warlike exercises, ono 
might have justly exclaimed, This is the outstbetched akm 
OP God, 

The word of God mightily increased in Britain, by the divine 
influence which accompanied the preaching of the truth. Such 
was the rapid march of the gospel, that in the space of a f^w 
years nearly all regions of the country heard the " gladly so- 
lemn sound." About the year 197, TertuUian, an African 
divine, makes honorable mention of the Britons by the abun- 
dant success which accompanied the preaching of the gospel. 
It is true that TertuUian lived at a great distance from Britain, 
and made these statements from the reports he had received. 
Nevertheless, the gospel must have taken a deep root in 
Britain, since the report of its success had extended to Africa. 

In the year 180, Lies ab Coel,* the British king, was con- 
verted to Christianity. In his-<;onversion we have the first ac- 
complishment of the promise, " And kings shall be thy nursing 
fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers : they shall bow 
down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the 
dust of thy feet ; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord, for 
they shall not be ashamed that wait for me." * Lies was the 
first of all the princes of Christendom that received Christian 
baptism. 

* Lucius. His name in the British lans^u&ge signifies benefit, because of th§ 
true benefit which his subjects derived from his Qiristian benevolence. ' 

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THE IVELSH BAPTISTS. 161 

Although' his own country was supfdied with Christiim teach- 
ers, yet in embracing Christianity he sent for direction to Elu- 
therius, the Bishop of Rome. Because the Romans were then 
so powerful in Britain, and the mutual commerce and inter- 
course of the two nations so extenswe, he chose to send to the 
capital of the world. At that time the streams of divine truth 
were not corrupted there with the traditions of men, and with 
gross superstitions. Here is a copy of the letter: 

" Lies ab Coel, the king of Britain, to Elutherius, the bishop 
of Rome, sendeth greeting : 1 have endured, for some time, a 
wounded spirit and a troublesome mind, because I hesitated in 
regard to the best religion for me and my subjects to adhere 
to. Now I begin to feel the wretched state of my ignorance 
of God, and of his religion. I know that idols can do nothing, 
and doubtless that all are fools who trust in them. Therefore, 
I beseech thee to send' over to Britain some of your pious 
teachers, to instruct us in the Christian faith. — Farewell" 

God, the wise disposer of all human events, in his inscruta- 
ble wisdom, permits the wrath of man to fly on the wings of 
speed, and to fix its deadly talons on the excellent of the earth. 
But in his own time, he restrains the reniainder of wrath, curbs 
the foaming rage of the tyrant, arid tells the cruel persecutor, 
** Hitherto shalt thou go, and no farther." 

After DioclQsian had sated himself with the blood of saints, 
he abdicated his throne, r^ired to a secluded spot, where he 
spent the residue of his life in painful reflections and keen re- 
morse. Having dragged a miserable existence, for the space 
of nine years, by the stings of a guilty conscience, he com- 
mitted suicide by swallowing a chalice of poison. He was suc- 
ceeded by Constans, a man famous for his clemency and 
•equity, and who was married to Helen, the daughter of Coel 
Godebog, of Britain ; by whom he had a son, known by the 
name of Constantino the Great, who was the first of the Ro- 
man emperors that received the faith of Christ. Constans wa» 
favorably disposed towards Christians. He interceded for 
them, though unsuccessfully, with Dioclesian; yet by his 
authority in Britain, the persecuticm there did not exceed a 
year ; whereas, in other coimtries it continued for ten years.- 

Constans, although not a professor of Christianity, was yet 
decidedly partial to Christians; and his decided esteem for 
them was strikingly manifested on all occasions. On a certain 
occasion, he made a trial of tlw sincerity of his chief officers, 
and he determined to know whether hid courtiers were real 
Christians or hypocrites. He therefore convened them to- 
gether, and said that his will was, that whosoever would sa«ri- 

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188 BI8T0XY OF 

fice to the gods should contmue in his favor, aad enjoy theii 
pHvileges in court, but that those who would not submit should 
be dismissed from his service. Consequently, the Christiaiis 
bowing their heads, resigned their offices, and departed; M 
the hypocrites remained with the emperor, and declared tbei] 
willingness to sacrifice. The emperor caused the Christiiuu 
to be recalled, and exalted them to still more honorable c^ces 
and privileges ; but the hypocrites he banished from his pie- 
sence, as unworthy of confidence ; justly, inferring that those 
who could prove treacherous to their God, could never be hu 
faithful subjects. 

No Roman was ever so endeared to the Bntons as Constans, 
and the affection of the latter to the former was no less arcknt 
and distinguished. It is difficult to know which of the two 
parties showed the most signal marks of attachment; whether 
they, in their respect and obedience, or he, in his mildness and 
kingly benevolence. For the sake of establishiiig permanent 
peace between the two nations, and in order to remove all 
jealousies and inveteracy, he married Helen, or Bllen, a lady 
of rare beauty and of shining virtues, who was the daughter oi 
Coel, king of Britain, by his wife Stradwen, daughter of Cad- 
van ab Conan, prince of North Wales. Helen became the 
mother of a prince, whose name will be remembered as long 
as the world standeth, not only as the warm advocate of the 
Christian faith, but as one who injudiciously amalgamated the 
church with the state. 

During the dissemination of Pelagian doctrines, the Bntons 
were in a state of weakness and religious decline. The coun- 
try was frequently involved in troubles, by the inroads of Picts, 
Hibernians, Franks, and Saxons, whose depredations kept the 
natives in perpetual alarm, and tended effectually to obstruct 
the progress of religion. While Agrigola and his exhorters 
were preaching salvation through Christ, their doctrines were 
well received, and relished as doctrines in which they had been 
taught in the gospel. But when they asserted and ■maintained 
that man could be saved by exerting his own ability, indepen- 
dent of the aid of divine grace, they were either heard with 
suspicion or rejected as heretical. And when the ingenuous 
auditors demanded proofs, they could not be adduced from 
Scripture ; but Agrigola and his followers attempted to prove 
their new doctrines from the principles of false philosophy. 
The unsophisticated Britons not being prepared to meet them 
on this illegitimate ground, they sent over to their neighbors 
in Gaul (France), requesting them to furnish them with a few 
pious, able, and learned ministers, who would enter into a pub* 

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THB W£LSH BAPTISTS. 183 

ic duM^uBsion with those sanctimonious novices, who sought to 
iepriv^ them of their hope,' and to overturn their faith. 

The deputies were received by the Gallic church with re- 
ipect and honor; and, to express their willingness to serve 
their brethren, they held a council, in order to fix on men of 
good report, full of the Hply Ghost and of wisdom, to meet the 
wishes and supply the wants of the churches in Britain, in 
their present exigency. Two ministers, Garmon, bishop of 
Alet-y-sodor, and Lupus, bishop of Trecastle, men of superior 
intelligence, of excellent moral character, and of sound and 
firm principles, were chosen by the council to be sent to Bri- 
tain. As ^n as they arrived in Britain, they were actively, 
zealously, and warmly employed in preaching the gospel of truth 
to the body.of the people in Welsh, and to the learnt in Latin. 
The then moral and religious state of Britain demanded their 
indefatigable labors and most zealous efibrts. Besides the er- 
rcHie(»is princ^les disseminated by the false teachers among 
avowed adherfhts to Christianity, idolatry and Druidism had 
been restored in many sections of the country, but the accumu- 
lation of obstacles only augmented the labors of the bishops 
and brightened their confidence in God. It was their invaria- 
ble custom to traverse the country in all directions, preaching 
the necessity of divine grace to aid their hearers to glorify 
God, and showing that good purposes and resolutions are 
merely the ofispring of selfishness, presumption, and folly, if 
proceeding not from a principle of sanctifying grace. The 
Lord gave of his Spirit to co-operate with their diligent minis- 
trations. Thus, by the blessing of Grod, unbelievers were 
brought over to the faith, the feeble were strengthened, and 
those who had before despised the doctrines of grace saw their 
error, and were brought to adopt the language of Paul, " Not 
I, but the grace of God which was with me." 

Garmon and Lupus having ascended high in the public es- 
teem, and become distinguished for their popular talents, the 
false teachers retiifed for a season from public observation, per- 
haps to screen themselves from the arrows of enthusiasm, or 
rather to prepare themselves for a public oral discussion with 
their reverend opponents. 

The tide of public feeling against the advocates of Pelagian- 
ism having diminished by theur silence and disappearance, the 
fiilse teachers and their exhorters took courage, re-entered on 
their labors, and challenged the Gallic bishops to enter with 
them into a public discussion, on the points at issue. The 
place of their rendezvous was London. There the false teach- 
ers, who composed the majcmty, commenced by making their 

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184 RISTOftT OF 

harangues, in which they magnified the powers and fiiculties 
of man, and asserted how many m^torious works man could 
perform, if he only followed the dictates of reason,, and con- 
sulted his own judgment, and that- transgressions were merely 
the effects of carelessness and pliability. Garmon, in reply, 
explained systematically, the change which had been effected 
in the moral essence of the mental facultks of Adam, posterior 
to his transgression. Instead of uprightness of heart, he be- 
came prone to a wayward course ; and instead of the calm, 
the composure, and comfcnrt, which were before a perpetual 
feast to his soul, his breast was now the seat o£ tumultuous 
passions, such as carnal desires, perturbation of mind, anguish, 
and remorse. " Now," said he, " this is what is intended in 
the Scriptures by the old man — -namely, the base passions, the 
lusts, the evil propensities that are in us, which we have inhe- 
rited from Adam our progenitor; for, as the branches partake 
of the nature of the stock, so we, being of Adftn^s race, par- 
take of his corrupt nature, which he acquir^ by the fall. 
Thus it is evident that the first work of a Christian's new 
birth is to Cctst away the unruly passions and lusts, which so 
extensively now domineer and exercise authority over him. 
But he cannot enter upon such an important work merely by 
his own ability and efforts ; for our nature is frail and corrupt, 
and the imaginations of man's heart are evil from his youth ; 
but by seeking the aid of God's gr^ce to stand with our good 
purposes, as it is written, "My grace is sufficient for thee, my 
strength shall be made perfect in thy weakness." The audi- 
tors were highly satisfied and greatly comforted by the defence 
of Grarmon, and such* were the angry feelings manifested to* 
wards the false teachers and their exhorters, that they would 
have been roughly treated, had it not been for the interposition 
of the two bishops. 

TTie two bishops systematically carried forward their opera- 
tions in the moral amelioration and conversion of the Britons. 
They first established schools for the attaiofnent and difiusion 
of religious and useful knowledge, as far as means rendered 
their object practicable* Several of the British clergy were 
then unlearned and unstable. They were but children in un- 
derstanding, and but partially and superficially acquainted with 
the Holy Scriptures, and the branches of theology. This state 
of ignorance and insufficiency induced them to send over to 
France* for suitable men to resist the false teachers. In those 



. * France ^t that time was called GauL and the inhabitants w«re Welsh peo- 
ple, who spoke the Welsh laneuage^ But after the Romans invaded Gaul 



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THE WELSH BAPTISTS. 185 

academies established by Grarmon and Lupus, young men 
studied in the higher branches of literature, and in theology^ 
to aid them in the sacred ministry. The two principal men 
chosen as superintend^ats over these nurseries of learning, were 
Dyfrig and lUtyd, men of distinguished taints, both natural 
and acquired, and of ardent zeal in the dissemination of know- 
ledge and promotion of piety, and who were m all respects 
qiialiiied for their important charge. Dyfrig opened his school 
at the city of Caerleon, in South Wales, where not only the 
sons of farmers and mechanics received his tuition, but the sons 
of the nobility, who studied the sciences — namely, philosophy, 
astronomy, &c. It is stated that, on sc«ne occasions, his pupils 
amounted to a thousand in number. Teilo Vawr, who so 
strenuously defended the grace of God in an assembly held at 
Lilandewi-brevi, in South Wales, was his pupil. Another pupil 
of his was Cadoc, the son of Kynlas, the lord of Glamorgan. 
Dyfrig, having extensively sown the seed of knowledge, and 
having seen the rapid progress of literature, resigned his charge 
as a tutor, and was made the first bishop of Llandaff, and was 
translated thence to the bishopric of Caerleon. Illtyd also 
ably acted his part in Llanilltyd, in Glamorgan, in restoring 
literature and exerting a moral influence. His pupil was Sam- 
son, a man of extensive knowledge, who, nevertheless, greatly- 
injured his country, by collecting many rare and precious 
manuscripts, hnd taking them with him to Bretagne. Gildas 
was one of his pupils, who wrote an ecclesiasticiEd history of 
Britain in Latin. Dewi and Pftulin were among his pupib ; 
beside many others, who in point of genius, learning, and piety, 
were ornaments to their, country, apd who would have been an 
honor to any country ifi the age in which they lived, and per- 
haps would shine during the present march of refinement. 

Bangor-is-y-Coed, in North Wales, also experienced the be- 
nevolent care, and efficient encouragement and support of Gar-, 
mon ; for he appointed Adian as the principal and superinten- 
dent of the college, who was the son of Gomew, and the grand- 
son of Urien Rejred, prince of North Wales. Bangor-is-y- 
Coed and Caerleon, were the principal fcHmtains of learning in 
Great Britain at that period. The reason why Wales sur- 
passed England, i^ k regaipde^ its Uteifary institutions, was, 

iKid Britain, th^ nobility of both countries learned th^ Latin lanftua^; to 
that it was neceflsary % Garmon aad Lupus to preiuili in both Laon and 
Welsh to the ancient Britona. Though it was not tbe natire tongue or 
either preachers or hearan, yet no man was considend Itamed, at that tiaci 
except he coulj) speak fluenUjr in Li^tin; yfhkk ia, in aomt m^aaurt^-the caafi 
^ Wi^I«« to t#B aay. 

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186 HI8T0ST OF 

that the latter was often the acene of foreign inroads, while th» 
former was but seldom annoyed with savage invaders. 

Garmon and Lupus, having established order in Britain, re- 
turned to France. As soon as the news of their departure was 
generally announced, the false teachers re-entered upon their 
labors, and sOon filled the country with the sound of their in- 
sipid doctrines. A messenger was sent to solicit the return of 
Garmon to the former scenes of his ministerial labors, inas- 
much as the advocates of Pelagianism were throughout the 
country loudly decrying the fundamental principles of Chris- 
tianity, and, by all the art and cunning of errorists, were at- 
tempting to erect their own standard of faith. Garmon pro- 
ceeded to Britain without delay, and took Severus with him, an 
able and eloquent man in the Scriptures. 

Nothing deserving of peculiar notice transpired in Britain, 
between the ^al departure of Garmon theiKe, and the coming 
of the Saxons thither. 

See Extracts from the Parish Churchy in the Religiotu 
Magazine.-^Benedict^s History of the Baptist Denomination 
in America. — Hanes Prydain Fawr^ by Rev. Titus Lewis ; 
Hanes Crefydd yng Ygymry^ by Rev. Prof. D. Peter: 
Translated by Ewws Mariyn^ and published in the Chris- 
tian Herald^ Vol. 6. 



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THIS w]^«s^ BAPTitTf. 187 



WELSH ASSOCIATIONS. 

We have every reason to believe that the W.elsh Baptists 
had . their associations, and that Dyfrig, Illtyd, and Dynawt, 
were the leading men among them, long before Austin's at- 
tempt to convert them to Popery, in that association which was 
held on the borders of England, about tI^e year 600. 

The first association after the reformation, as far as we can 
find, was held at Abergavenny, on the 1 4th and 15th daysT of 
the sixth month, in the year 1653 ; when the ministers and 
messengers of five of the old and apostolical Baptist order, met 
and calmly and deliberately considered the best means to be 
adopted for the furtherance of the gospel of Christ. They re- 
presented the churches of Olchon, Llantrisaint, Llanwenarth, 
Swansea, and Carmarthen.* They unanimously agreed that 
the church of Olchon should ordain more elders and deacons^ 
and assist the church of Llanwenarth to support their minister. 
The names of the delegates are not recorded. It is only stated^ 
that twenty-four of them signed the minutes; and J. Thomas, 
the Welsh historian, has given us only the names of seven of 
them — namely: Howel Vaughan, Walter Prosser, Thomas 
Parry, Howel Watkins, Charks Garson, and Stephen Brace. 

The next association was held at Aberavon, within the 
bounds of the church of Swansea, in the year 1664; wherein 
it was resolved, that the church of Carmarthen being destitute 
of a pastor, should be supplied by other ministers in regular 
rotation ; and that John MHes, David Davis, Walter Prosser, 
and William Prichard, should prepare writings to be [^resented 
to the next association, on the duty of pastors, deacons, and 
members of churches; which also they did. John Miles was 
appointed to visit the churches of Olchon and Llanwenarth, as 
often as he could during the year, to assist them, and to endea- 
vor to ascertain whether there were any among them that wer» 
likely to be useful in the work of the ministry, and to form hia 

* From the history of the above*churcbee, we find that each of them had 
several branches ; and that every minister was both a pastor and a roisaion^ 
ary, within the bounds of his own chorch. The distance from Llanwenarth 
to CarmartheB is about one bundled milet, and nearly aa much from Olchcm 
toSwanaea. 

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189 



HI8T02T OF 



judgment of the gifts and qualifications of such as had com- 
menced preaching. 

The next association was held at Llantrisaint, in the same 
year; when the subject of laying on of hands on the baptized, 
first came under their consideration. The above named minis- 
ters, and William Thomas also, were appouited to write on 
the subject against the next association, to be held at the Hay, 
within the bounds of the Olchon church. 

We have not seen the account of that association, but soon 
afterwards Messrs. Rider and Hopkins, who were great advo- 
cates for it, were sent down from Glaziers' Hall church, Lon. 
don, to Wales, and laid their hands on some of the children of 
Gromer, for the first time since the uatroduction of Christianitr 
into the Isle of Britain. By degrees, it became a universal 
practice. Some years afterwards, the question was agitated 
again in the churches of Maesyberllan and Ebenezer, and 
finally settled by the association that it should not be a bar of 
communion. 

The associations were held afterwards in the following 
places: 



Year. Place*. 

1650 Swansea. 

1 65 1 Carmarthen. 

1653 Fenni, 
l<ff54 Aberafon. 

1654 Llantrisaint. 

1655 Gelli. 

1656 Brecon. 

1689 London,* 

1690 Do,. 
Places. 

J700 IJai^wenarth * 

1701 Do^ 

1702 Swansea 

1703 Llanwenarth 

1704 Swansea 

1705 Llanwenarth 

1706 Swapsea 

1707 Llanwenarth 

1708 Rhydwilim 

1709 Maesyberllan 
1710 



Year. 
1691 
1692 
1693 
1694 
1695 
1696 
1697 
1698 
1699 



Places. 
London, 

Do. 
BnstoK 

Do. 

Do. 

Do. 

Do. 
Taunton^ 

Do, 



Hinistera appointe4 to preachy 



Richard Williams^ 

Philip James. 

Abel Morgan. 

Morgan Griffiths. 

Nathan Davies or Caleh Evana* 

John Jenkins or Samuel Jones^ 

Minutes lost. 



* Thw year the SMooAtian pnbKubed their Oopfoeeioa of F«ith. whieh yrtf^ 
iMk>(»te4 1«^ th«i PUla4el(ihia Biptiel fM^ 

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THE WEtSn BAPTISTS, 



189 



Y«ar. 


Place. 


1711 


Heagoed 


1712 


Llanwenarth 


1713 


Rhydwilim 


1714 


Swansea 


1715 


Blaeoau 


1716 


Llanwenarth 


1717 


Blaenau 


1718 


Llanelli 


1719 


Rhydwilim 


1720 


Maesyberllan 


1721 


Coomb 


1723 


flengoed 


1723 


Llanwenarth 


1724 


Blaenau 


1725 


Llanelli 


1726 


Cilfowyr 


1727 


Swansea 


1728 


Rhydwilim 


1729 


Llanglophan 


1730 


Hengoed 


1731 


Llanwenarth 


1732 


Blaenau 


1733 


Penyfay 


1734 


Penygam 


1735 


Llanelli 


1736 


Rhydwilim 


1737 


Newcastle 


1738 


Hengoed 


1739 


Llanwenarth 


1740 


Cilfowyr 


1741 


Blaenau 


1742 


Llanglophan 


1743 


Cilfowyr 


1744 


Penygam 


1745 


Pentref 


1746 


Swansea 



Ministers appobted to preach. 
Minutes losX* 

Do, 
Nathan Davies, 



John Jenkins or Nathan Davies* 
Morgan Griffiths or John Harris, 

John Jenkins or John Harris- 
John Harris or Enoch Francis. 
Enoch Francis or W. Meredith. 
David James or Nathan Davies* 
Nathan Davies or Samuel Jones, 
Samuel Jones or W. Meredith. 
Caleb Evans or William Philips. 
N. Davies or Morgan Griffiths. 
Morgan Jones or Enoch Francis, 
Enoch Francis or John Philips, 
John Jenkins or Caleb Evans. . 

Griffith Jones or John Jenkins, 
John Jenkins or Miles Harris. 
Enoch Francis or Roger David, 
Enoch Francis, Matt. 24:45. 
Bem'd Foskett, Bristol, 1 Tim. 4:7. 
Roger David, 1 Tim. 4:16. 
Miles Harris, Rom. 10:15. 
Hugh Evans, Eph. 3:8. 
Morgan Griffiths, Acts 26:28. 
Thomas Mathias, Jer. 3:15. 
Griffith Jones, 1 Cor. 4:1,2. 
Hugh Evan^^Phil. 4:8. 
Morgan Harris, Job 33:23. 
Hugh Evans, 2 Kings, 2:14. 
David Owen, 1 Cor. 16:10. 
BemM Foskett, Bristol, 1 Thes. 1:6. 
Griffith Davies or Hugh Evans. 
Miles Harris, Jer. 15:19. 
Evan Jenkins, 2 Tim. 2:19. 
D.Thomas, Cilfowyr, iChron. 29:1. 
Hugh Evans, Isaiah 62:6, 7. 
Thomas Edwards, 2 Tim. 2:15. 
Evan Jenkins, Heh. 12:15. 
Griffith Jones, 2 Chron. 15:7. 



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190 



KI8TOBT or 



Ymt. Plftce. 

1747 Bwchfa 

1748 Garth 

1749 Llanelli 

1760 Moleston 



1751 
1.752 


Hengoed 
Aberduar 


1753 


Maesdorglwyd 


1764 


Rhydwilim 


1756 


Bethesda 


1766 


Llandyssil 


1757 


Llanwenarth 


1758 


Llanglophan 


1759 


Blaenau 


1760 


Cilfowyr 


1761 


Penygam 


1762 


Pentref 


1763 


Swansea 


1764 


Maesyberllan 


1766 


Dolau 


1766 


Llanelli • 


1767 


Moleston 



Bfinisten appointed to preach. 
£van Jenkins, Jude 21. 
Evan Thomas, John 21:17. 
Evan Jenkins, 1 Thes. 2:12. 
Griffith Jones, 1 Cor. 2:2. 
Hugh Evans, 2 Cor. 5:20. 
G. Thomas, Newcastle, 2 Cor. 5:11. 
D. Thomas, Cilfowyr, Matt. 22:4. 
Griffith Jones, 2 Cor. 13:2. 
Evan Jenkins, Matt. 16.11. 
John Thomas, 2 Tim. 4:5. 
Griffith Davis and Evan Jenkins. 
•Edmund Watkins, Mark 16:15. 
Caleb Harris, Col. 4:3, 4. 
D. Thomas, Cilfowyr, 1 Tim. 4:16. 
Griffith Davies, Eph. 3:8. 
Caleb Harris, 2 Ti«. 2:26. 
Miles Harris, 1 Cor. 15:34. 
Richard Jones, 2 Tim. 4:2. 
Hugh Evans, 2 Tim. 2:1. 
Miles Harris, Rev. 14:6,7. 
Griffith Davis, Acts 5, 42. 
T.Thomas, Aberduar, 1 Cor. 9:16. 
Hugh Evans. 
David Owen, Col. 4:17. 
Hugh Evans, 1 Cor. 1:23,24. 
Evan Thomas, Luke 12:42. 
Hugh Evans, Acts 4:24. 
Edmund Watkins, Luke 14:23. 
Benjamin Francis, Tit. 2:14. 
D. Thomas, Newcastle, Matt. 21 :42. 
Hugh Evans, Rom. 1:16. 
John Williams, Col. 1:28. 
Benjamin Francis, 1 Peter, 2:2. 
D. Thomas, Rhydwilim, Ps. 51:13. 
Hugh Evans, Eph. 4:12, 13. . 
Caleb Evans, D. D., Phil. 2:1 : 
James Lewis, 2 Tim. 2:15. 
Hugh Evans, Hos. 14:5. 
George Rees, 1 Peter, 5:2. 
Benjamin Francis, Mkah 2:7. 
T. Thomas, Aberduar, Isa. 27:13. 
Hugh Evans, Zech. 14:20. 
Griffiith Davies, Col. 1:28. 
Caleb Evans, D. P., Col. 3:11. 



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THE WELSH BAPTISTS. 



191 



Year- 
1768 


Place, 
Hengoed 


1769 


Aberduar 


1770 


Capelyffin 


1771 


Penyfay 


1772 


Rhydwilim 


1773 


Bethesda 


1774 


Ebenezer 


1775 


Brynbyga 


1776 


Panteg 


1777 


Caerleoa 


1778 


Salem 


1779 


Glyn 



1780 Llanwenarth 

1781 Llanglophan 

1782 Blaenau 

1783 Cilfowyr 

1784 Penygarn 



jUmisten aopointed to preach. 
D. Thomas, Newcastle, 2 Cor. 4:5. 
Sam. Stennett, D. D., Mat. 28:20. 
D.Thomas, Rhyd wilim,2 Cor. 6:14. 
Benjamin Francis, Rev. 3:19. 
John WilKams, Acts 6:2223. 
Hugh Evans, Mai. 2:15. 
William Williams, 2 Cor. 5. 11. 
Benjamin Francis, Psalm 126:6. 
Griffith Davies, 2 Cor. 6:20. 
William Williams, Heb. 12:2. 
John Williams, Matt. 22:4. 
Hugh Evans, Zech. 1:5. 
Ednruind Watkins, Acts 29,26, 27. 
Benjamin Francis, 1 Cor. 16:68. 
William Williams, Hos. 7:9. 
Hugh Evans, Heb. 12:22,23. 
Thomas Hiljer, Luke 8:35. 
John Thomas, Deut. 33:3. 
Benjamin Francis, Phil. 1:27. 
Joshua Thomas, Psalm 42:6. 
George Rees, 1 Cor. 6:18. 
Hugh Evans, Luke 12:43. 
Benjamin Francis, 1 Cor. 2:2. 
Thomas Philips, Acts 15:16. 
Benjamin Francis, Luke 10:2. 
John Williams, John 1:1, 3. 
S. Medley, Liverp'l, Zech. 9:16,17. 
Stephen Davies, Matt. 16:24. 
George Rees, Acts 11:21. 
Zecharias Thomas, Gal. 6:14. 
Caleb Evans, D. D., 1 Tim. 1:15. 
Benjamin Francis, 1 Thess. 2:13. 
David Evans, Eph. 1:23. 
William Williams, Heb. 3:7,8. 
John Thomas, Jer. 3:23. 
Benjamin Francis, Matt. 25:21. 
George Rees, Zech. 3:4. 
Benjamin Francis, Zech. 14:3. 
Morgan Rees, 1 Pet. 2:4. 
Miles Edwards, Psalm 23:5. 
T. Thomas, Peckham, Rom. 5:11. 
David Evans, Graig, Zech. 9:9. 
Caleb Evans, D. D., Ps. 119:129. 
John Richardy Graig, Luke 2:10. 

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192 



HISTOBT OF 



Yetr. Plaot. 

1786 Graig 
1796 Pentref 

1787 Heol y Prior 

1788 Llanerch3nnedd 



1789 Maesyberllan 



1700 Dolau 



Miniflten appointed to pi«acli. 
H.Davies,LlaDglophan, John 1:14. 
Benjamin Morgan, Zech. 4;8. 
Zechariah Thotnas, Cant. 2:9. 
David Jones, 1 Tim. 1:10. 
T. Thomas, Peckham, John 8:d2. 
Miles Edwards, Psalm 36:7. 
H. Davies,Llanglophan, Jer. 15:19. 
Caleb Evans, D. D., 1 John 4:10. 
Josh. Thomas, same text in Welsh. 
George Rces, 2 Cor. 5:4. 
David Jones, Mai. .1:11. 
T. Thomas, Peckham, 1 John 2:3. 
Job Davis, Frome, 2 Cor. 4:7. 
T. Thomas, Aberduar, Isa. 53:10. 
Morgan Rees, Hab. 3:9. 
D. Powell, Matt 17:26. 
Gabriel Rees, Luc. 24;26. 
Benjamin Philips, Eccles. 3:3. 
David Evans, Dolau, Rev. 1:20. 
B. Davies, Hwlffordd, John 3:19. 
H. Davies, Llanglophan, Eph. 3:8. 
David Evans, Cilfowyr, Ps. 149:2. 
T. Thomas, Abcrduar, Is. 14:32. 
William Williams, Neh. 8:2. 
Caleb Evans, D. D., Acts 15:9. 
George Rees, 1 Tim. 6:6. 
Benjamin Francis, Rom. 6:15. 
Edmund Watkins, Luke 14:22, 23. 
Benjamin Francis, Phil. 3:16. 
John Evans, Roe, 2 Cor. 4:7. 
David Jones, Isaiah 40:7. 
Joshua Thomas, Josh. 21:45. 



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THE W£LSH BAPTISTS. Id9 



SPECIMENS OF WELSH PREACHING. 



Here it rrtay not be improper to make a few preliminary 
remarks. 

The ministry of the gospel, through the instrumentality of 
Welsh preachers, has produced a most wonderful effect, which 
is visible in the ornament of evangelical knowlec^, and the 
beauty of that morality, that broidered garm^it of pure gold in 
which the Principality is clothed. Notwithstanding many of 
her ministers go out to preach witTiout any golden rings and 
precious diamonds on their fingers, and even without the learn* 
ing of Athens and Rome — the oratory of Demosthenes, the 
chief orator of Greece, or of Cicero, the chief orator of Rome; 
yet, by the influence of the Holy Spirit of God inflaming their 
gifts, and firing their zeal and love to Christ and the souls of 
men, they have set the land of Cambria on fire. There is no 
portion of the terrestrial globe, of its size and containing the 
same number of inhabitants, where the religion of Christ has 
been and now is so flourishing, and where it has had such an 
universal eflfect, as the Principality of Wales — ^where the flow- 
ers of morally decorate its hills and dales, and ungodly and 
heathenish customs are flying away, like the demons of Gadara 
before the Son of God in the days of his flesh. 

However excellent the written sermons of Welsh ministers 
might appear in any language whatever, the eflfect is ncrthing, 
comparatively, to that produced by the living speakers. Their 
superiority as preachers may be ascribed, measurably, to their 
pathetic, warm, and masterly manner of delivery, and their 
prepossessing appearance and compass of voice, which enables 
them to command the attention of thousands. Much of the 
original force and beauty of their sermons, therefore, are lost 
in translating. 

The Fall of Man^ and his Recovery by Christ. 

At a meeting of ministers in Bristol, the Rev. Mr. invited 

several of his brethren to sup with him. Among them was the 
minister officiating at the Welsh meeting-house in that city. He 
was an entire stranger to all the company, and silently attentive 
X} the general conversation of his brethren. The subject on 

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194 HI8T0KT OF 

which they were discoursing was the difibrent strains of public 
preaching. When several had given their opinion, and had 
niention^ some individuals as good preachers, and such as were 

modeb as to style of composition, &c.* Mr. turned to the 

Welsh strallger, and solicited his opinion. He said he felt it a 
privil^;e to be silent, when such men were discoursing, but that 
he felt it a duty to comply with his request. •* But," said he, 
^' if I must give my opinion, 1 should say that ye have no good 
preachers in England. A Welshman would set fire to the 
world while you were lighting your match.'* The whole com- 
pany requested the good man to give them some specimen of 
the style and manner of preaching in Wales. " Specimen," 
said he, "I cannot give you. If John Elias w6re here, he would 
give you a specimen indeed. I cannot do justice to the Welsh 
language! Your poor, meagre language would spoil it; it is 
not capable of expressing those ideas which a W^kmaa 
can conceive ; I cannot give you a specimen in English with- 
out spoiling it." The interest of the company was increased, 
and nothing would do but something of a specimen. " Well," 
said the Welshman, " if you roust have a piece, I must try, but 
I don't know what to give you— I recollect a piece of Christmas 
Evans. He was preaching on the depravity of man by sin — 
of his recovery by the death of Christ, and he said — ^ Brethren^ 
if I were to represent to you, in a figuie, the condition of man 
as a sinner, and the means of recovery by the cross of Jesus 
Christ, I should represent it something in this way : Suppose a 
large grave-yard, surrounded.by a high wall, with only one 
entrance, which is by a large iron gate, which is fast bolted. 
Within these walls are thousands and tens of thousands of hu- 
man beings, of all ages and classes, by one epidemic disease 
bending to the grave — the grave yawns to swallow them, and 
they must all die. There is no balm to relieve them — ^no phy- 
sioian there — they must perish. This is the condition of man 
as a sinner. All have sinned, and the soul that sinneth shall 
die. While man wcus in this deplorable state, Mercy came 
down and stood at the gate, looked at the scene and wept over 
it, exclaiming, " Oh that I might enter,- 1 would bind up their 
wounds, I would relieve their sorrows, I would save their souls." 
While Mercy stood weeping at the gate, an embassy of angels, 
commissioned from the court of Heaven to some other world, 
paused at the sight, and Heaven forgave that pause ; and, see- 
jBg Mercy standing there, they cried, " Mercy, Mercy, can you 
not enter ? Can you look upon that scene and not pity ? Can 
you pity and not relieve?" Mercy replied, " I can see;" and 
m her tears she added, " I can pity, but I cannot relieve." 

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THS WELSH BAPTISTS. 19d 

" Why can you not enter ?" " Oh," said Mercy, " Justice has 
barred the gate against me, and I cannot, must not, unbar it.*' 
At this moment Justice himself appeared, as it were to watch 
the gate. The angels inquired of jiim, " Why will you not let 
Mercy in?" Justice replied, " My law is broken, and it must 
be honored— die they^ or Jesus must!" At this> there appeared 
a form among the angelic band like unto the Son of God, who, 
addressing himself to Justice, said, " What are thy demands V 
Justice replied, " My terms are stern and rigid : I must have 
sickness for their health — ^I must have ignominy for their ho- 
nor — I must have death for their life — WiihotU shedding cf 
* hlood there is no rendsdonJ'^ " Justice," said the Son of God, 
** I accept thy terms. On me be this wrong, and let Mercy 
enter." " When," sadd Justice^ " will you perform this pro* 
mise?" Jesus replied, " Pour thousand years hence, upon the 
.hill of Calvary, without the gates of Jerusalem, I will perform 
it. in my own person." The deed was prepared, and signed in 
the presence of the angels of God. Justice was satisfied, and 
Mercy entered, preaching salvation in the name, of Jesus. The 
deed was committed to the patriarchs, by them to the kings of 
Israel and the prophets — by them it was preserved until Da- 
niel's seventy weeks were accomplished — then, at the appointed 
time. Justice appeared on the hill of Calvary, and Mercy pre- 
sented to him the import€uit deed. " Where," said Justice, " is 
the Son of God ?" Mercy answered, " Behold him at the bot- 
tom of the hill, bearing his cross" — and then she departed, and 
stood aloof at the hour of trial. Jesus ascended the hill, while 
in his own train follawed his weeping church. Justice imme- 
diately presented him with the deed, saying, " This is the day 
when this bond is to be executed." When he received it, did 
he tear it in pieces, and give it to the winds of heaven T No ; 
he nailed it to his cross, exclaiming, " It is finished." Justice 
called on holy fire to come down and consume the sacrifice. 
Holy fire descended — ^it swallowed his Humanity, but^when it 
touched his Deity it expired ! — and there was darknessover the 
whole heavtns — 'but glory to God in the highest, on eUrth 
peace and good- will to men.' 

" This," said the Welshman — " this is but a specimen of 
Christmas Evans." 

The Victory of Calvary — By the samek 

After the prophets of ancient times had long gazed through 
the mists of fUturity, at the sufierings of Christ, and the glory 
that should follow, a company of tl^m were gathered together 

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196 niSTOKY OT 

on the summit of Calvary. They saw a host of enemies ascend- 
ing the hill, arrayed for battle, and most terrific in their aspect. 
In the middle of the line was the Law of God, fiery and exceed- 
ing broad, and working wrath. On the right wing, was Beel- 
zebub with his troops of mfemals ; and on the left, Caiaphas 
with his Jewish priests, and Pilate with his Roman soldiers. The 
rear was brought up by Death, the last enemy. When the holy 
seers had espied this army, and perceived that it was drawing 
nigh, they started back, and prepared for flight. As they looked 
round, they saw the Son of God, advancing with intrepid step, 
having his face fixed upon the hostile band. " Seest thou the 
danger that is before thee," said one of the men of God. " 1 
will tread them in mine anger," he replied, " and trample them 
in my fury." " Who art thou?" said the prophet. He an- 
swered : " I *that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." 
" Wilt thou venture to the battle alone?" asked the seer. The 
Son of God replied : " I looked, and there was none to help ; 
and I wondered there was none to uphold ; therefore mine own 
arm shall bring salvation unto me; and ray fiiry it shall uphold 
me." At what point wilt thou commence thy attack?" inquired 
the anxious prophet. ** I will first meet the Law," he replied, 
** and pass under its curse: for lo! I come to do thy will, 
God." " When I shall have succeeded at the centre of the 
line, the colors will turn in my favor." So saying, he moved 
forward. Instantly the thunderings of Sinai were heard, and 
the whole band of prophets quaked with terror. But he advcmced, 
undaunted, amidst the gleaming lightnings. For a moment he 
was concealed from view; and the banner of wrath waved 
above in apparent triumph. Suddenly the scenei was changed. 
A stream of blood poured forth from his wounded side, and put 
out all the fires of Sinai. The flag of peace was now seen un- 
fiirled, and consternation filled the ranks of his foes. He then 
crushed, with his bruised heel, the Old Serpent's head ; and put 
all the infernal powers to flight. With his iron rod he dashed 
to pie<5es the enemies on the left wing, like a potter's vessel. 
Death still remained, who thought himself invincible, having 
hitherto triumphed over all. He came forward, brandishing 
his sting, which he had whetted on Sinai's tables of stone. He 
darted it at the conqueror, but it turned down, and hung like 
the flexile. lash of a whip. Dismayed, he retreated to the grave, 
his palace, into which the conqueror pursued. In a dark cor- 
ner of his den, he sat on h>s throne of mouldering skulls, and 
called upon the worms* his hitherto faithful allies, to aid him in 
the conflict; but they replied, "His fledh shall see no corrup* 
tiop.'!? The aceptre fell from his hand. The conqueror seiz^ 

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TIIE WELSH BATTISTS. 197 

him, bound him, and condemned him to the lake c^ fire ; and 
then rose from the grave, followed by a band of released cap- 
tives, who came forth, after his resurrection, to be witnesses of 
the victory he had won. 

The Demoniac ofGadara. 

The writer heard the following, at an association held in thef 
county of Carmarthen, in 1817. It has been considered one 
of the weakest efforts of Christmas Evans. He said it was his 
desire to arouse the attention of the congregation, which had 
not been excited during the whole meeting, though many excel- 
lent sermons had been delivered. It indicates thorough know- 
ledge of human nature, and great power in drawing pictures of 
real life for practical purposes. The effect produced was asto- 
nishing. His pictures would instruct, and sometimes amuse, 
but his applications would shock the congregation like electri- 
city. . We are sorry that our limits will not allow us to publish 
the whole sermon. 

"And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the 
city a certain man, which had devils a long-time, and wear no 
clothes, neither abode in any house but in the tombs." 

I imagine that, this Demoniac was not only an object of pity, 
but he was really a terror in the country, so terrific was his 
Jippearance, so dreadful and hideous his screams, so formida- 
ble, frightful, and horrid, his wild career, that all the women . 
in that region were so much alarmed that none of them durst 
go to market. 

And what made him still -more terrible was the place of his 
abode : It wa§ not in a city, where some attention might be 
• paid to order and decorum — (though he would sometimes ram- 
ble into the city, as in this case). It was not in a town, or 
village, or any house whatever, where assistance might be ob- 
tained in case of necessity; but it was among the tombs, and 
in the wilderness — not ftir, however, from the turnpike road. 
No one could tell but that he might jump at thfem, like a pan- 
ther, an* scare them to death. Thp gloominess of the place 
made it more awful and solemn. It wa« among the tombs 
— where, in the opinion of some, a^' witches, corjfee-candles, 
and hobgoblins abide. 

One day, however, 'M*T^ was determined that no suchr 

nuisance should b© jsoffered in* the Country of the Gadatenesi. 

The man must be clothed, though he was mad and crazy. 

And if hQ should at any future time strip himself, tie up his 

• 17* 

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193 niATonY or 

clothes in a bundle, throw them into the river, and tell them 
to go to sea, Abraham, he must be tied and taken care of. 
Well, this was all right—no sooner said than done. But, so 
soon as the. fellow was bound with chains and fetters, Samson- 
like, he broke the bands asunder, and could not be tamed. 

By this time, the devil became oflended with the Gadarenes, 
and in a pout he took the Demoniac away, and drove him into 
the wilderness. He thought the Gadarenes had no business to 
interfere and meddle with his property ; for he had possession 
Qf the man. And he knew, that "a bird in the hand is worth 
two in the bush.'' It is probable that he wanted to send him 
home; for there was no knowing what might happen now-a- 
days. But there was too much matter about him to send him 
ais he was ; therefore, he thought the best plan would be to 
persuade him to commit suicide by cutting his throat. But 
here Satan was at a nonplus — his rope was too short — he could 
not turn executioner himself, as that would not have answered 
the design he has in view, when he wants people to commit 
suicide; for the act would have been his own sin, and not the 
man's. The poor Demoniac, therefore, must go about to hunt 
a sharp stone, or any thing that he could get. He might 
have been in search of such an article, when he returned from 
the wilderness into the city whence he came, when he met the 
Son of God. 

" J^esus commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the 
man. And when he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down 
before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with 
thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high t I beseech thee, tor- 
ment me not." Here is the devil's confession of faith. The 
devils believe and tremble, while men make a mock of sin, and 
sport on the brink of eternal ruin. To many^of the human 
race, Christ appears as a root out of dry ground. They see in 
him neither form nor comeliness, and there is no beauty in him 
that they should desire him. Some said he was the carpenter's 
son, and would not believe in him; others said he had a devil, 
and that it was through Beelzebub the chief of the devils, that 
he cast out devUs; some cried out. Let him be crucifiedr— let 
him be crucified; and others said. Let his blood be en us and 
on our children. As the Jews vould not have him to reign 
over them," so many, wh«t call theniaelves Christians, say that 
he is a mere man : as such, he has ?k> right to rule over their 
consciences; and demand their obea^roe, wioration, apd praise. 
But Diabolus knows better— Jesus is the^ So|i q£ God ^osj 
^ighi 



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THB WBi«SH BAPTISTS. 19d 

Many of the children of the devU, whose works they do, dif«» 
fer very widely from their father in sentiments respecting the 
person of Christ* 

Jesus commanded the legion of unclean spirits to come out 
of the man. They knew that out they must go. But they 
were like Scotchmen-^very unwilling to return to their own 
country. TJ'hey would rather go into hogs' skins than to their 
own country. And he sufiered them to go into the herd of 
swine. Methinks that one of the men who fed the hogs, kept 
a better look out than the rest of them, and said, ^^ What ail 
the hogs ? Look sharp there> boys — keep them in — :make good 
use of your whips. Why don't you run? Why, I declare, 
one of them is gone over the cliff! There. goes another? 
Drive them hack," Never was there such running, and whip- 
ping, and hallooing; but down go the hogs, before they were 
aware of it. One of them said, " They are all gone !" ." No, 
sure, not all gone into the sea!" " Yes, every one of them — ■. 
the Wack hog and all! They are all drowned! — the devil ia 
in them! What shall we do now? — -what can we say to the 
owners ?" " What can we say ?" said another. " We must 
tell the truth — that is all about it. We did our best — all that 
was in our power. What could any man do more?" 

So they went their way to the city, to tell the masters what 
had happened. " John, where are you going ?" exclaimed one 
of the masters. " Sir, did you know the Demoniac that was 
among the tombs there?" " Demoniac anK)ng the tombs! — » 

Where did you leave the hogs?" " That madman, sir " 

^' Madman l-TT-.Why do you come home without the hogs?" 
'^ That wild and furious man, sir, that mistress w£is afraid of 
so much— — r" *^ Why, John, I ask you a plain and simple 
question — twhy don't you answer me ? — Where are the hogs?" 
'^ That man who was possessed with the devils, sir—" 
" Why, sure enough, you are crazy 1 — ryou look wild! — ^tell mo 
your story, if you can, let it be what it may." '^ Jesus Christ, 
sir, has cast out the unclean spirits out of the Demoni€M3; they 
are gone into the swine; and they are all drowned in the 
sea ; for I saw the tail of the last one !" The Gadarenes went 
out to see what was done ; and finding that it was even so^ 
they were afraid, and besought Jesus to depart from them. 

How awful must be the state and condition of those men^^ 
who love the things of this world more than Jesus Christ!" 

The man out of whom the unclean spirits were cast, be^ 
nought Jesus that he might be with him. But be told him to 
return to his own house, and show how great things Grod hind 
doi^ mto hunt Aqd be ^nt his way and published throM^ht 

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SOO HI8T0SY OF 

out the whole city of Dec&polis, how great things Jesus had 
done unto him. The act of Jesus casting so many devils out 
of him, was sufficient to persuade him that Jesus was God as 
well as man. 

I imagine I see him going through the city, crying — "O yes! 
O yes ! O yes ! — Please to take notice of me, the Demoniac 
among the tombs. I am the man who was a terror to the 
citizens of this place — that wild man, who would wear no 
clothes, and that no nrnn could bind. Here am I, now, in my 
right mind. Jesus Christ, the friend of sinners, had compas- 
sion on me. He remembered me, when I was in my low es- 
tate — when there was no eye to pity, and no hand to save. 
He cast out the^evils, and redeemed my soul from destruction." 

Most wonderful must have been the surprise of the people, 
to hear such proclamation. The ladies running to the win- 
do ws-r-the shoemakers, throwing their lasts one way and their 
awls another, running out to meet him and to converse with 
him, that they might be positive there was no imposition ; and 
found it to be a fact that could not be contradicted. O, the 
wonder of all wonders ! — ^Never was there such a thing ! — 
must, I think, be the general conversation. 

And while they were talking, and every body having some- 
thing to say, homeward goes the man. As soon as he came 
in sight of the house, I imagine I see one of the children run- 
ning in, and crying, "O, mother! Father is ceming — he will 
kill us all !" " Children, come all into the house," said the 
mother. " Let us fasten the doors. I think there is no sor- 
row like my sorrow !" said the broken-hearted woman. ** Are 
all the windows feistened, children." " Yes, mother." " Mary, 
my dear, come from the window — don't be standing there." 
♦' Why, mother, I can hardly believe it is father! That man is 
well-dressed." " O yes, my dear children, it is your own 
father. I knew him, by his walk, the moment I saw him." 
Anotlier child, stepping to the window, said, " Why, mother, I 
never saw father coming home as he does to-day. He walks 
on the foot-path, and turns round the corner of the fence. He 
used to come towards the house, as straight as a line, over 
fences, ditches, and hedges; and" I neyer saw him walking as 
slow as he does now." 

In a few moments, however, he arrives at the door of the 
house, to the great terror and consternation of all the inmates. 
He gently tries the door, and finds no admittance. He pauses 
a moment, steps towards the window, and says, in a low, firm, 
and melodious voice — " My dear wife, if you will let me in, 
there is no danger. I will not hurt you, I bring you glfid 

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THE WELSH BAPTISTS. 201 

tidings of great joy." The door was reluctantly opened, as it 
were between joy and fear. Having deliberately seated him-' 
self, he said : " I am come to show you what great things God 
has done for me. He loved me with an eternal love. He 
redeemed me from the curse of the law, and the threatenings 
of vindictive justice. He saved me from the power and the do- 
minion of sin. He cast out the devils out of my heart, and 
made that heart which was a den of thieves, the temple of the 
Holy Spirit. I cannot tell you how much I love the Savior. 
Jesus Christ is the foundation of my hope, the object of my 
faith, and the centre of my afiections. I can venture my im- 
mortal soul upon him. He is my best friend. He is altoge- 
ther lovely — the chief among ten thousand. He is my wis- 
dom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. There is 
enough in him to make a poor sinner rich, and a miserable 
sinner, happy. His flesh and blood is my food — his r^ht- 
eoysness, my wedding-garment — ^and his blood is etficacious to 
cleanse me from all my sins. Through him I can obtain eter* 
nal life; for he is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the 
express image of his person-^in whom dwelleth all the fullness 
of the Godhead bodily. He deserves my highest esteem, and 
my warmest gratitude. Unto him who loved me with an eter- 
nal love, and washed me in his own blood — unto him be the 
glory, dominion, and power, for ever and ever ! For he has 
rescued my soul from hell. He plucked me as a brand out of 
the burning. He took me out of the miry clay, and out of a 
horrible pit. He set my feet upon a rock, and established my 
goings, and put in my mouth a new song of praise and glory 
to him! Glory to him for ever! — Glory to God in the highest! 
— Glory to God, for ever and ever! Let the whole earth 
praise him ! — Yea, let all the p#ple praise him." 

It is beyond the power of the strongest imagination to con- 
ceive the joy and gladness of this family. The joy of sea- 
faring men delivered from being shipwrecked — ^the joy of a man 
delivered from a burning house — ^the joy of not being found guilty 
ta a criminal at the bar — the joy of receiving pardon to a con- 
demned malefactor — the joy of freedom to a prisoner of war, — 
is nothing in comparison to the joy of him who is delivered from 
going down to the pit of eternal destruction. For it is a joy 
unspeakable and full of glory. 

la speaking from these words — 

I. We would notice Chrbt's mission into the world to destroy 
the works of the devil. 



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S02 HI8T0BT OF 

IL HU qualifications for that important woirk : He is both 
God and man — the Son of Grod most high. - 

III. The awful state and condition of those people, who love 
the things of the world more than Jesus Christ — who join th© 
Gadarenes in saying unto Christ, Depart from us. 



. According to the best information we can obtain, there are 
at present in Wales, 250 Baptist meeting-houses, and about as 
many other stated preaching places, for lectures on Sunday and 
weekday Qvenings, which are regularly suppUed^with the preach- 
ing of the gospel by Baptist ministers, not once a month, but 
every week, and in some places, three or four times a week, be- 
sides Lord's-days. This is owing, not cmly to the number, but 
also to the diligence of the Welsh greachers, and to a plan 
which is there adopted to defray their travelling expenses, as 
well as an acknowledgment ef gratitude from the churches for 
their labors of love. Although the Welsh churches do not give 
much to their ministers, yet an instance has never occurred of 
their letting a regular minister, in good standing, go from them 
without giving him something. 

The travelling preachers receive a stated sum fojr each ser- 
mon, so that a man of strong constitution, who can preach 
twice every day, as Christmas Evans, John Elias, and others 
do, would receive a considerable amount for his services. For 
this purpose the churches have a fund, or treasury, into which 
the people cast their contributions, so that no collection is made 
when the minister is presentj#The whole* number of Baptist 
communicants in Wales, is about 85,000. 



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• CONTENTS. 

The origin otthe Welsh people, 5 

Hie Romans' Invasion of Britain, 6 

The Introduction of Christianity into Britaint 7 

Faganus and Pomicanus preaching in Britain, ..... 7 

King Lucius embracing Christianity, S 

Pagan Persecution, 8 

Alban, Aaron, and Julian, suffered martsrrdom, 9 

Constantino embracing Christianity, . : . . . . . 10 
The Saxons driving the Welsh from Ehgland into Wales, . . .11 

Welsh Ministers, li 

Austin's Debate on Baptism, 14 

Baptist principles maintained by the. Welsh, from the year 68 to the prel 

sent time, ' 14 

The Baptists in the Vale of Carleon, 18 

The difi^rence between the ancient Baptists, and the Baptists who de- 
scended from the Church of Rome and the Episcopal Church, . 19 

The Baptists in the Vale of Olchon, 19 

The Reformation, 22 

Biography of Walter Brute and others, 22 

Welsh Baptist Ministers, 22 

History of Welsh Churches, 82 

Llanbisaint Church, 85 

I>olau, 86 

Swansea, 89 

Llanbryn-mair, » . . 91 

Wrexham, ;....... 93 

Lilanwenarth, 96 

Hengoed, , ... 101 

RhydwUim, 107 

Rehoboth, .,'... 113 

Blacnau, 119 

Maesyberllan, 120 

Glascwn, 122 

Cilfowyr, 122 

Pensrfay, 135 

Newbridge, 136 

Moleston, 143 

LlaneHy, 144 

Aberduar, 145 

Usk 149 

Llanglophan, IW 



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204 C0XTKNT8- 

Bethesda, . . -. 151 

Craigfergoed, 1S2 

Glyneeiriog, -.^.- 153 

Ebenexer, - - - 154 

?S^^J^. jC^marthen, - - - 157 

Rf)capitulatk)n, . - - *■ " 1^9 

Welfh Aaeociationa, -- 167 

Specimens of Wdeh preaching, 193 

Meeting-houees, &c^ in Wales, ^^ 






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